Poetessa speaks..

Poète, scénariste et parolier....Scottish dilettante and poet. This blog has some of my current poems, as well as those of other poets I admire.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Your hand full of hours, Paul Celan

Your hand full of hours, you came to me - and I said:
Your hair is not brown.
So you lifted it lightly on to the scales of grief; it weighed more than I...

On ships they come to you and make it their cargo, then put it on
sale in the markets of lust -
You smile at me from the depth, I weep at you from the scale
that stays light.
I weep: Your hair is not brown, they offer brine from the sea and
you give them curls ...
You whisper: They're filling the world with me now, in your
heart I'm a hollow way still!
You say: Lay the leafage of years beside you - it's time you came closer and kissed me!

The leafage of years is brown, your hair is not brown.

by Paul Celan (1920 - 1970)
translated by Michael Hamburger

Die Selbe Schmerz, Paul Celan


Paul Celan In den Flussen


Ich horte sagen..Paul Celan


Tuesday, 2 November 2010



(For two voices)

First Voice:

The tulips red

Not yet opened glance

At me

Noticing my eyes.


White with yellow centres


Like her elegant wrist in ruffles--

They turn away

And favour the room

Over me.

The world is not yet safe

It hovers

Tired animal


If I would make

A worthy prey


To dread


Yellow was my fate yesterday

I saw it biting


Voice Two:

Now I try to hide in red

Why is it a sinking


It seems to shift like clay

But its redness

Growls and



The tulips say

Why have I chosen the

Insistence of red?

It’s everywhere like

Cherry orchards.

I should lose myself here instead

In the turquoise folds

Of these velvet curtains that drape

And fold the empty stage.

I long to disappear

Into the soft darkness of their pleats.


Red knows how to laugh

Knows its origins

Are in wildflowers

Indian paintbrush

Painted on faces first

Or else on jars

Red knows mystery

Knows the place where the sacred lies

It is the color of the color

Of our liquid life.

Red knows itself

Through and through

It is the color of desire—

Red knows itself

On the blackbird’s wing—

In the flaming Autumn leaves.

Red knows and knows


As Love.