curated by Adam Fitzgerald

Friday, February 13, 2009

'Your hand full of hours, you came to me'

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