Wednesday 24 September 2008

Mit wechselndem Schlüssel

Mit wechselndem Schlüssel
schliesst du das Haus auf, darin
der Schnee des Verschwiegenen treibt.
Je nach dem Blut, das dir quillt
aus Aug oder Mund oder Ohr,
wechselt dein Schlüssel.

Wechselt dein Schlüssel, wechselt das Wort,
das treiben darf mit den Flocken.
Je nach dem Wind, der dich fortstösst,
ballt um das Wort sich der Schnee.

Paul Celan

With a changing key
you unlock the house, where
the snow of what’s silenced drifts.
Tuned to the blood that wells
from your eye or mouth or ear,
it changes, your key.

Changes your key, changes the word
that may drift with the flakes.
Tuned to the wind that pushes you back,
it gloms onto the word, that snow.

With a changing key,
trans. James Owen

[thanking James for giving me what I had asked for and ffflaneur for first quoting these lines on my blog :-)]


  1. interesting. have posted a different translation. i like different parts of both. i prefer 'changing'. i do not like 'gloms'!

  2. I love these images very much. I'm going to say just that, and then sit quietly before for a while.

  3. What lovely images. I especially love the second one.

  4. thank you. it was very hard to find these images, harder than ever.

  5. I like this last picture. As always, it's so difficult to say why...there's always something mysterious about your best pictures.

    Where was this? Nevers?

    hope all is well.



  6. no, I've never been to Nevers :-)
    who knows, maybe in another life. but no, I would have remembered it, for sure.

  7. und das ist sehr sehr gut, A.

  8. danke, anonymous. was genau ist aber gut hier, die bilder, die uebersetzung?

  9. & you found the perfectly matching photo .... thanks - am very moved (no no not gasping again)

  10. i LOVE this silhouette photo. it's stunning.

  11. just to see Paul Celan's name, i can't tell what happens inside. He was so close to 'word' somehow, to mantle and dismantle "IT" and the power between voice spirit and text... a mystery

  12. this is so true, mansuetude.