Paul Celan: “Corona”


Autumn eats leaves right out of my hand: we are friends.
We shell time from the nuts and teach time to walk:
then time returns to its shell.

In the mirror it is Sunday,
in a dream I can fall asleep,
our mouths speak the truth.

My eye travels down to the sex of my lover:
we look at each other,
we exchange darknesses,
we love like opium and memory,
we sleep like wine in mussel-shells,
like the sea in the blood-ray of the moon.

We stand by the window holding each other,
and people stare up from the street:
it is time they knew!
It is time that the stone made an effort to flower,
that unrest beat with a beating heart.
It is time that it is time.

It is time.

Paul Celan

Translated from German by Paul Weinfield, © 2014

2 responses to “Paul Celan: “Corona”

  1. This Celan poem is terrific, Paul. I am really enjoying your translations–maybe with the only exception being the recent Vallejo with all its crucifixion (cruci-fiction?) imagery, which in context I find lugubrious, maybe even a bit creepy. But then, I am not a devout South American Catholic–in case you have not noticed.

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