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 - 149,819 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 - 149,819 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 - 44,483 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. A Refusal To Mourn The Death, By Fire, O.. , Dylan Thomas
  7. 7. Nothing But Death , Pablo Neruda
  8. 8. A Poet's Death Is His Life Iv , Khalil Gibran
  9. 9. Father Death Blues , Allen Ginsberg
  10. 10. A Dream Of Death , William Butler Yeats
  11. 11. A Death Blow Is A Life Blow To Some , Emily Dickinson
  12. 12. The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner , Randall Jarrell
  13. 13. Death Wants More Death , Charles Bukowski
  14. 14. An Irish Airman Forsees His Death , William Butler Yeats
  15. 15. Angel Of Death (Death Death Death Dea.. , Udiah (witness to Yah)
  16. 16. The Beauty Of Death Xiv , Khalil Gibran
  17. 17. A City's Death By Fire , Derek Walcott
  18. 18. After Death , Sara Teasdale
  19. 19. Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  20. 20. Death Xxvii , Khalil Gibran
  21. 21. Death Leaves Us Homesick, Who Behind , Emily Dickinson
  22. 22. First Death In Nova Scotia , Elizabeth Bishop
  23. 23. On The Death Of That Most Excellent Lady, , Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
  24. 24. A Funeral Poem On The Death Of C. E. An .. , Phillis Wheatley
  25. 25. On The Death Of A Young Lady Of Five Yea.. , Phillis Wheatley
  26. 26. A Ballad Of Death , Algernon Charles Swinburne
  27. 27. Death &Amp; Fame , Allen Ginsberg
  28. 28. The Death Of Joy Gardner , Benjamin Zephaniah
  29. 29. A Thought For A Lonely Death-Bed , Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  30. 30. Go Down, Death , James Weldon Johnson
  31. 31. Gacela Of The Dark Death , Federico García Lorca
  32. 32. I Have A Rendezvous With Death , Alan Seeger
  33. 33. On Death , Anne Killigrew
  34. 34. Death Fugue , Paul Celan
  35. 35. On The Death Of Anne Brontë , Charlotte Brontë
  36. 36. Love &Amp; Fame &Amp; Death , Charles Bukowski
  37. 37. The Death Of The Hired Man , Robert Frost
  38. 38. For The Anniversary Of My Death , William Stanley Merwin
  39. 39. As At Thy Portals Also Death , Walt Whitman
  40. 40. Fugue Of Death , Paul Celan
  41. 41. On Hearing Of A Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  42. 42. If Death Is Kind , Sara Teasdale
  43. 43. Death , Heinrich Heine
  44. 44. Absence Disembodies—so Does Death , Emily Dickinson
  45. 45. All But Death, Can Be Adjusted , Emily Dickinson
  46. 46. Death Is A Dialogue Between , Emily Dickinson
  47. 47. Hymns To The Night : 6 : Longing For Death , Novalis
  48. 48. Death , William Butler Yeats
  49. 49. Holy Sonnet X: Death Be Not Proud , John Donne
  50. 50. Ode On The Death Of A Favourite Cat Drow.. , Thomas Gray
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