In Memoriam Paul Celan
Lay these words into the dead man's grave
next to the almonds and black cherries---
tiny skulls and flowering blood-drops, eyes,
and Thou, O bitterness that pillows his head.
Lay these words on the dead man's eyelids
like eyebrights, like medieval trumpet flowers
that will flourish, this time, in the shade.
Let the beheaded tulips glisten with rain.
Lay these words on his drowned eyelids
like coins or stars, ancillary eyes.
Canopy the swollen sky with sunspots
while thunder addresses the ground.
Syllable by syllable, clawed and handled,
the words have united in grief.
It is the ghostly hour of lamentation,
the void's turn, mournful and absolute.
Lay these words on the dead man's lips
like burning tongs, a tongue of flame.
A scouring eagle wheels and shrieks.
Let God pray to us for this man.
Edward Hirsch's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (In Memoriam Paul Celan by Edward Hirsch )
- The Beatles in Auckland, michael walker
- Gandhi, gajanan mishra
- Keep Up, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- You, Jose Orozco
- In my heart - you are, gajanan mishra
- 9 August 2014, Shri R Brahma
- 2 August 2014, Shri R Brahma
- 31 July 2014, Shri R Brahma
- It's October 1st. Did you pay your mortg.., Jena Crowe
- Princess Diana, Sonia Ode Lucci
Poem of the Day
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
- Heather Burns
(c. 600 BCE)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
Udiah (witness to Yah)