Paul Celan

French Romanian poet and translator

Paul Celan (23 November 1920 – c. 20 April 1970) was a German language poet and translator.

The grave of Paul Celan at the Cimetière de Thiais near Paris


  • A little stallion gallops across the leafing fingers-
    Black the gate leaps open, I sing;
    How did we live here?
    • "Tallow Lamp" in: Paul Celan (1972) Selected poems. p. 22
  • Aspen tree, your leaves glance white into the dark.
    • "Aspen Tree. . ."; cited in: Ruth Golan (2006). Loving Psychoanalysis. p. 61
  • We stand by the window embracing, and people look up from the street:
    it is time they knew!
    It is time the stone made an effort to flower,
    time unrest had a beating heart.
    It is time it were time.

    It is time.

    • "Corona" In: Paul Celan, ‎Pierre Joris (2005). Paul Celan: Selections. p. 44
  • You opened your eyes -I saw my darkness live. I see through it down to the bed; there too it is mine and lives.
    • "From Darkness to Darkness," in: Donald Wesling, ‎Tadeusz Sławek (1995). Literary Voice: The Calling of Jonah. p. 54

Quotes about Paul Celan

  • Am I not the poet of witness? Am I not a disciple of Nellie Sachs and Paul Celan trying to describe the horrors of the Holocaust, meanwhile inventing a new lyric, which questions the possibility/impossibility of poetry after the most heinous episodes of history?
    • Marilyn Chin A Portrait of the Self as Nation: New and Selected Poems (2018)
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