letter from paul celan to his wife gisèle

What can I offer you, my dear Gisèle?

Here is a poem written while thinking of you—here it is just as I wrote
it down, right off , in its first version, unaltered, unchanged.

Happy birthday!

Il y aura quelque chose, plus tard,
qui se remplit (se remplira) de toi
et se hisse(ra)
à (la hauteur d’) une bouche

De mon (Du milieu de) délire (ma folie)
volé(e) en éclats
je me dresse (m’érige)
et contemple ma main
qui trace
l’un, l’unique
cercle

[There will be something, later,
that brims full with you
and lifts up
toward a mouth

Out of a shardstrewn
craze
I stand up
and look upon my hand,
how it draws the one
and only
circle]

(1970)

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