Psalm

Psalm- Paul Celan, Photographic Portrait of the Poet
Paul Celan, Photographic Portrait of the Poet

The poem titled Psalm was written by the important German-speaker of Romanian origin, Jewish poet Paul Celan (1920, Chernivtsi – 1970, Paris). The Psalm poem is included in the The No One’s Rose (Die Niemandsrose) poetic collection, released in 1963 by the German publishing house of S. Fischer Verlag.

Multilingual and one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, he lived mainly in France and worked as a translator. And all of his translational work has been, from anywhere if someone seen, penetrating and insurmountable, while still being studied by linguists.

For the contradictory element, namely to have his mother tongue in German – the language spoken by the Nazi killers of his parents during the Holocaust – Paul Celan had said, ‘There is nothing on earth that can prevent a poet from writing, not even the fact that he’s Jewish and German is the language of his poems.’

Paul Celan - Psalm

No one moulds us again out of earth and clay,
no one conjures our dust.
No one.
Praised be your name, no one.
For your sake
we shall flower.
Towards
you.

A nothing
we were, are, shall
remain, flowering:
the nothing-, the no one’s rose.

With
our pistil soul-bright,
with our stamen heaven-ravaged,
our corolla red
with the crimson word which we sang
over, O over
the thorn.

Translation: Michael Hamburger

Poem from collection of Paul Celan The No One’s Rose (Die Niemandsrose) of 1963

Audio Document

  • Paul Celan recites its poem Psalm. No data is available about when and by whom the record was made.
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Paul Celan - Psalm
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  • Celan, P. (2002). Poems of Paul Celan (M. Hamburger, Trans.). Persea Books, Incorporated.

Celan’s Universality by Robert Von Hallberg: Michigan Quarterly Review

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