Abandoned by God; Betrayed by Humanity

They have drunk the Black Milk: Of Schiller and Shulamith over at a bird’s eye view.

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9 Responses to Abandoned by God; Betrayed by Humanity

  1. Stephen says:

    Paul Celan’s Death Fugue:

    Black milk of daybreak we drink it at evening
    we drink it at midday and morning we drink it at night
    we drink and we drink
    we shovel a grave in the air there you won’t lie too cramped
    A man lives in the house he plays with his vipers he writes
    he writes when it grows dark to Deutschland your golden hair Margareta
    he writes it and steps out of doors and the stars are all sparkling, he whistles his hounds to come close
    he whistles his Jews into rows has them shovel a grave in the ground
    he commands us to play up for the dance.

    Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
    we drink you at morning and midday we drink you at evening
    we drink and we drink
    A man lives in the house he plays with his vipers he writes
    he writes when it grows dark to Deutschland your golden hair Margareta
    Your ashen hair Shulamith we shovel a grave in the air there you won’t lie too cramped

    He shouts jab the earth deeper you lot there you others sing up and play
    he grabs for the rod in his belt he swings it his eyes are so blue
    jab your spades deeper you lot there you others play on for the dancing

    Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
    we drink you at midday and morning we drink you at evening
    we drink and we drink
    a man lives in the house your goldenes Haar Margareta
    your aschenes Haar Shulamith he plays his vipers
    He shouts play death more sweetly this Death is a master from Deutschland
    he shouts scrape your strings darker you’ll rise then as smoke to the sky
    you’ll have a grave then in the clouds there you won’t lie too cramped

    Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
    we drink you at midday Death is a master aus Deutschland
    we drink you at evening and morning we drink and we drink
    this Death is ein Meister aus Deutschland his eye it is blue
    he shoots you with shot made of lead shoots you level and true
    a man lives in the house your goldenes Haar Margarete
    he looses his hounds on us grants us a grave in the air
    he plays with his vipers and daydreams der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland

    dein goldenes Haar Margarete
    dein aschenes Haar Shulamith

    (Tranlsated by John Felstiner, in: Paul Celan – Poet, Survivor, Jew. New Haven 1995.)

  2. john f. says:

    Stephen, thanks for posting Celan’s poem here. In the initial post I linked to some of my own thoughts about that poem and the Holocaust over at a bird’s eye view. The poem is posted there as well if you are interested in my take on it.

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