Resources for Loss

"Grösse, Glühende Wölbung" by Paul Celan, contributed by Lars Hornburg (2021)

Here is a poem by Paul Celan that I have recently come to deeply appreciate. I have included the original in German, as I feel it is not captured fully in translation. That said, I did complete my own translation below that is also included. There are many poems that I find more optimistic in their comfort but I find this poem to be very true to the feeling of losing someone. The act of staring out across the world and into the black void beyond swirling stars provides an ample scope to what loss can feel like. Above all, the last line cuts deep, encompassing so many aspects of loss at once: the weight of grief, the feeling of obligation to keep the memory of the deceased alive, and an implied reminder that one must not only carry, but carry on.

Grösse, Glühende Wölbung 

by Paul Celan

Grösse, Glühende Wölbung
mit dem sich

hinau- und hinweg-
wühlenden Schwarzgestirn-Schwarm:

der verkieselten Stirn eines Widders
brenn ich dies Bild ein, zwischen
die Hörner, darin,
im Gesang der Windungen, das
Mark der geronnenen
Herzmeere schwillt.

rennt er nicht an?

Die Welt ist fort, ich muß dich tragen.

Great Glowing Curvature
Translation by Lars Hornburg

Great, Glowing Curvature

outward- and away-
burrowing black stars swarm:

On the silicified brow of Aries
I brand this image, between
the ram’s horns, therein,
in the song of the whorls, the
marrow of the coagulated
heartseas swell.

doesn’t he butt?

The world is gone, I must carry you.

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