Paul Celan

(23 November 1920 - 20 April 1970 / (Cernăuţi, Bukovin) Chernivtsi, Ukraine)

Cologne Poem by Paul Celan


In Kohln, a town of monks and bones,
And pavements fang'd with murderous stones
And rags, and hags, and hideous wenches;
I counted two and seventy stenches,
All well defined, and several stinks!
Ye Nymphs that reign o'er sewers and sinks,
The river Rhine, it is well known,
Doth wash your city of Cologne;
But tell me, Nymphs, what power divine
Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine?

Submitted: Wednesday, November 23, 2011

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