Death Poems - Poems For Death - Fugue Of Death

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Fugue Of Death - Poem by Paul Celan

Black milk of daybreak we drink it at nightfall
we drink it at noon in the morning we drink it at night
we drink it and drink it
we are digging a grave in the sky it is ample to lie there
A man in the house he plays with the serpents he writes
he writes when the night falls to Germany your golden
hair Margarete
he writes it and walks from the house the stars glitter he
whistles his dogs up
he whistles his Jews out and orders a grave to be dug in
the earth
he commands us strike up for the dance

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you in the morning at noon we drink you at
nightfall
drink you and drink you
A man in the house he plays with the serpents he writes
he writes when the night falls to Germany your golden
hair Margarete
Your ashen hair Shulamith we are digging a grave in the
sky it is
ample to lie there

He shouts stab deeper in earth you there and you others
you sing and you play
he grabs at the iron in his belt and swings it and blue are
his eyes
stab deeper your spades you there and you others play on
for the dancing

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at nightfall
we drink you at noon in the mornings we drink you at
nightfall
drink you and drink you
a man in the house your golden hair Margarete
your ashen hair Shulamith he plays with the serpents

He shouts play sweeter death's music death comes as a
master from Germany
he shouts stroke darker the strings and as smoke you
shall climb to the sky
then you'll have a grave in the clouds it is ample to lie
there

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at noon death comes as a master from
Germany
we drink you at nightfall and morning we drink you and
drink you
a master from Germany death comes with eyes that are
blue
with a bullet of lead he will hit in the mark he will hit
you
a man in the house your golden hair Margarete
he hunts us down with his dogs in the sky he gives us a
grave
he plays with the serpents and dreams death comes as a
master from Germany

your golden hair Margarete
your ashen hair Shulamith.


Comments about Fugue Of Death by Paul Celan

  • Gold Star - 146,123 Points Fabrizio Frosini (8/1/2015 7:42:00 AM)

    you can see the comments in ''DEATH FUGUE'', too

    like this one:

    '' In Celan’s ''Todesfuge'', Celan presents his readers in his opening two lines with four different times of the day. A reader understands that this 'black milk' is forcefully constant yet darkly discomforting, and its repetition scores the image of black milk into nearly every stanza.

    Though they might come across as merely subtle differences, the translations of these pairs —''evening'' and ''midday''; ''sundown'' and ''noon''— structure the time and place around which the poem centers.
    Felstiner’s translations suggest general times. Evening and midday blend ranges of hours together, without specificity.
    Oppositely, Hamburger’s translations are more definite. His ''sundown'' and ''noon'' provide exact times in the day in which ''we'' drink the black milk, almost like clockwork. Rather than the hours that pass through the evening, Hamburger’s ''we'' drinks the black milk at precisely sundown; rather than the hours surrounding midday, Hamburger’s ''we'' drinks the black milk at precisely noon. The rigidity, the exactness, of Hamburger’s word choices hint at the structure present in the camp system —the wake up call, the evening roll call, and the slim rationings of food at specific times during the day— and therefore offer the reader a more uncomfortable, somewhat tangible sense of the activities of the camp and of the Jewish experiences there. ''
    [Goodrich, J., Rhyme or Reason? : Successfully Translating the Poetry of Paul Celan,2008] ' (Report) Reply

    43 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 146,123 Points Fabrizio Frosini (8/1/2015 7:39:00 AM)

    to Jasbir Chatterjee [''Does this poem have anything to do with the Jews' massacre by Hitler? '']

    Yes, Death Fugue is about the atrocities and death in concentration and labor camps..
    About ''black milk''.. 'black' being generally associated with death and mourning, while the 'white' of the milk' speaks of purity and of life.. through this oxymoron, milk gets a threatening, fatal meaning..
    About ''a tomb in the air''... it refers to the crematoria... (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 40,882 Points Ramesh T A (8/1/2015 2:24:00 AM)

    Death by a German means it must be Hitler of World War II! It comes for the sky means it is surely attack by German aeroplanes! The attack by German warfare has created this kind of mind set perhaps to write poem so by the poet! (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »

Poems About Death

  1. 1. Let Me Die A Youngman's Death , Roger McGough
  2. 2. And Death Shall Have No Dominion , Dylan Thomas
  3. 3. Death Be Not Proud , John Donne
  4. 4. Death Is Nothing At All , Henry Scott Holland
  5. 5. Because I Could Not Stop For Death , Emily Dickinson
  6. 6. Nothing But Death , Pablo Neruda
  7. 7. A Refusal To Mourn The Death, By Fire, O.. , Dylan Thomas
  8. 8. Father Death Blues , Allen Ginsberg
  9. 9. A Dream Of Death , William Butler Yeats
  10. 10. A Poet's Death Is His Life Iv , Khalil Gibran
  11. 11. Angel Of Death (Death Death Death Dea.. , Udiah (witness to Yah)
  12. 12. A Death Blow Is A Life Blow To Some , Emily Dickinson
  13. 13. An Irish Airman Forsees His Death , William Butler Yeats
  14. 14. Death Wants More Death , Charles Bukowski
  15. 15. The Beauty Of Death Xiv , Khalil Gibran
  16. 16. The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner , Randall Jarrell
  17. 17. After Death , Sara Teasdale
  18. 18. A Funeral Poem On The Death Of C. E. An .. , Phillis Wheatley
  19. 19. On The Death Of A Young Lady Of Five Yea.. , Phillis Wheatley
  20. 20. Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  21. 21. Death Xxvii , Khalil Gibran
  22. 22. Death Leaves Us Homesick, Who Behind , Emily Dickinson
  23. 23. A City's Death By Fire , Derek Walcott
  24. 24. First Death In Nova Scotia , Elizabeth Bishop
  25. 25. A Ballad Of Death , Algernon Charles Swinburne
  26. 26. On The Death Of That Most Excellent Lady, , Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
  27. 27. The Death Of Joy Gardner , Benjamin Zephaniah
  28. 28. Gacela Of The Dark Death , Federico García Lorca
  29. 29. I Have A Rendezvous With Death , Alan Seeger
  30. 30. A Thought For A Lonely Death-Bed , Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  31. 31. Go Down, Death , James Weldon Johnson
  32. 32. For The Anniversary Of My Death , William Stanley Merwin
  33. 33. The Death Of The Hired Man , Robert Frost
  34. 34. Death &Amp; Fame , Allen Ginsberg
  35. 35. On The Death Of Anne Brontë , Charlotte Brontë
  36. 36. Love &Amp; Fame &Amp; Death , Charles Bukowski
  37. 37. On Death , Anne Killigrew
  38. 38. Death Fugue , Paul Celan
  39. 39. Death , Heinrich Heine
  40. 40. As At Thy Portals Also Death , Walt Whitman
  41. 41. If Death Is Kind , Sara Teasdale
  42. 42. On Hearing Of A Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  43. 43. Don'T Fear Death , Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok
  44. 44. Fugue Of Death , Paul Celan
  45. 45. On The Death Of Rev. Mr. George Whitefield , Phillis Wheatley
  46. 46. A Death-Bed , Rudyard Kipling
  47. 47. Hymns To The Night : 6 : Longing For Death , Novalis
  48. 48. Death , William Butler Yeats
  49. 49. Death Of A Cockroach , Robert William Service
  50. 50. On The Death Of Friends In Childhood , Donald Justice
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