The Nacreous Oughts

28 April 2008

Speak, you also,
Speak as the last,
Have your say,

But keep yes and no unsplit,
And give your say this meaning:
Give it the shade.

Give it shade enough,
Give it as much
As you know has been dealt out between
Midday and midday and midnight.

Look around:
Look how it all leaps alive--
Where death is! Alive!
He speaks truly who speaks the shade.'

--Paul Celan (tr M Hamburger)

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