Fugue Of Death

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

by Paul Celan Click to read full poem

Comments (15)

'we are digging a grave in the sky it is ample to lie there' - a thought provoking line.
A brilliantly conceived write.
Black milk of daybreak! ! Blackberry, Black water flows. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
Rhythmic fugue of this poem is surely black and haunting thrusting like a dagger straight into reader’s heart.
Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night. a good and great poem. tony
The pain, suffering and agony of those who were under house arrest was nicely written. A painful truth with apt title.100++++
Black mill is the theme that flows through the poem and does it relate or is it a symbol of the various forces and indoctrination that occurred in that time? ? Celan was Jewish and endured all the chaos of that time. This poem reflects so much of all that very well.
Very good poem...... Beautifully executed
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] '
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...
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!
Does this poem have anything to do with the Jews' massacre by Hitler? This is what it sounds like if you go by the words, He plays with the serpents and dreams death comes as a master from Germany.
I have a vision to write like this, only if god would bless me enough to.t
- ''Death Fugue'' is best - ''Todesfuge'' is an 'expression born of the poet’s experience of the crisis of language, the imminence of silence, and the magic of the word' (Weimar 94)
''Death Fugue'' is the best title