Poem – Night Ray – Paul Celan

Most brightly of all burned the hair of my evening loved one: 

to her I send the coffin of lightest wood. 

Waves billow round it as round the bed of our dream in Rome; 

it wears a white wig as I do and speaks hoarsely: 

it talks as I do when I grant admittance to hearts. 

It knows a French song about love, I sang it in autumn 

when I stopped as a tourist in Lateland and wrote my letters 

to morning. 
A fine boat is that coffin carved in the coppice of feelings. 

I too drift in it downbloodstream, younger still than your eye. 

Now you are young as a bird dropped dead in March snow, 

now it comes to you, sings you its love song from France. 

You are light: you will sleep through my spring till it’s over. 

I am lighter: 

in front of strangers I sing.

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