Paul Celan is famous as a poet whose life and work were overshadowed by the Holocaust, and the loss of his parents in a concentration camp. There have been many translations of what is generally agreed to be his very complex poetry, each reflecting a different angle of approach to what is generally agreed to be his very complex poetry. Celan was known to have a special interest in language, in the way words work and the way in which they can be misused and can misrepresent – this is why he so often revised his poetry. Jean Boase-Beier’s particular approach to translating Celan focuses on his use of words, and her illuminating introduction and her notes contextualizing each of the poems in this chapbook are invaluable in helping the reader to their own interpretation.
Published April 2021