SPEECH-GRILLE and Selected Poems by Paul Celan

SPEECH-GRILLE and Selected Poems

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A selection of poems by the German poet who died in 1970, translated in this bilingual edition by Joachim Neugroschel. The poems are brief, acute, with an eddying lyric repetition of symbols. The static tumult reminds one of the paintings of Magritte, and Celan contrasts textures and occurrences, portent and essence: ""The clock's honeycombs, time drained,/ nuptial, the bee-myriad/ready to travel""; ""stone in the air. . . ."" The poet was concerned with the possibility that lies beyond the silence of mouths and where ""all is less than/ it is./ all is more."" He took cognizance in his later poems of the holocaust and the dying experiencing their deaths, where ""No one/ bears witness/ for the witness."" But "". . . there are/ still songs to sing beyond/ Mankind."" A welcome and important collection.

Pub Date: June 24th, 1971
Publisher: Dutton