II/2, XII/71, XX/119 from correspondence with nobody

by Anne Blonstein


II/2 | XII/71 | XX/119


Note: “Notarikon... interpretation of the letters of a word as abbreviations of whole sentences.” OED citing Gershom Scholem in Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism.

Paul Celan’s translations of twenty-one sonnets by Shakespeare (together with English originals) can be found in the single-volume William Shakespeare, Einundzwanzig Sonette, Deutsch von Paul Celan (Insel-Bücherei Nr. 898. Frankfurt am Main, Insel, 2001) and in Celan’s Gesammelte Werke, volume 5, pp. 316–357 (Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp, 2000).


When forty winters shall besiege thy brow


work enumerating no nostalgia. voyage into etiolated regions zigzagged
in grumpiness. where ice nematodes tunnel elegiac resistance. decorate emptiness
in necrotic embroideries. soil tropes in reading niches. undigested matter
decomposing releasing and enriching normative grammar exported noiselessly (as I grew
To learn my woman-mind had gone astray). disruptive exotic roles.
some cluster here or emancipate not here entertaining immigrant thoughts.
flight leaves uninhabited roofs. voices outside lightlessly lucid. flippant urgent
reasoning cajoling harryingly emphatic neighbours. seem to ears here troubled
(Nie tönen groß in milderes Abendblau). vow entered right here
every evening reflecting that (she gradually divested herself of irrelevant
concerns). uncomfortable nurtured designs. decorating emptiness in not-embroidered
remarks. joy underplayed gamely exuberant never delicate. karyotypic laceworks
edged in distress (this protection may even be their most
important function). distally running against nasturtiums. speedwell or violets
in elementary landscapes. and unavoidably gorsed english norms. how an education
nearly ghosted european nettles (under their maternity dresses sprinkled with
double-headed blossoms dissolving eyes swim through the hanging gravewombs).
invitation solitude tiredness. poems letters upkeeping notebooks diskettes emails
rejections (Great work obviously). keep rememorying agreeable morsels (Erasmus's
Folly is a woman who laughs at all the sciences). uncomfortable
not diminished. knowing earned in no ecological negations. green rain
or scarlet corn have emotional naturalism. whether experts report tomorrow
(A system is ecological when it consumes its own waste products).


withdrawn into rain-softened thought (to be quiet and alone
in one's room). dark adapting. sampling intense emotions. dispersing
identity crystals hurt. needle a chaotic heart. induce however rhythms
(no knowing what may happen to her and her coherency).
doing education retroflexibly. self control here or evidently not here
exercising inherited thighs (ich kann nicht sehr gut Englisch).
feet researching asphalt grey exclose nostalgia (Who is to circumscribe
the geography in which thinking may take place?) now
a contemplative hunger. acutely lost learning. disturb easy reception.
tracing a graminaceous event. unspindled names duplicate. disturbing easy repetition.
soul crystals hurtle across equations touch zero's epidermis. or-receptive theory
(a complex of constantly developing patterns). distant unlonging. dispersed
into emergent spaces (: the importance of not being present).

because exile interposed me. even if never gulping exile
since your now knew new exile's nausea. and you gainwrote
escape. speaking augments gaps eyes neglect (Officially there is no war)?

second opacity. story-pinched represents an emptied childhood hurts
empirically. slowly concealments hatch and mark (La recerche de l'équilibre
est mauvaise parce qu'elle est imaginaire). explore imagination's naughts.
uller nayshon wemean owq ricc tauc. would actuate emaciated readings.
dispersed in existential spaces. where other rehydrates thought.


educe intronic narratives. write open reading trails. schemes pass recognition across
each condition has situated this. dangerously unfinished (world so large
that it can be rightly described in all these different ways
and many more). digesting excessive ribosities. squamous certainties here
or epithelium not here expressing idiotypic transformations. and now grows
elaborating messages each sequenced so each nonidentical (und ob nicht
jeder Dichter für die Lektüre seines Werkes ein eignes Wörterbuch erfordere).
if not durable extremely meanwhile. dated underflows. schemed pasts reorganized
at each cognition has suffered this (opportunity
for happiness: earth
we cannot possess
only experience).

menstruating expressions i need. interval shedding tense somaphors (Dabei ist
insbesondere die heute bereits bestehende Bevölkerungszahl der industrialisierten Staaten
aufgrund ihres enormen Ressourcenverbrauchs und ihrer Umweltbelastung das weit
grössere Problem als die Bevölkerungsexplosion in den Entwicklungsländern).
discharged into experimental stains. serous chemistry here oozes elegance not
especially. kindnesses i'll never descend (I am so sorry
I have not replied to your delightful cards and rather inscrutable

emergencing sounds. sending elements to zip together. monisms i corporate
habitually. forms of radiant timidity (gar Strahlungen aus dem Körperinnern
durch Nahrungsstoffe können Mutationen verursachen). if caught here. bodying it
now (die mehrere Kilo schwere Bombe auf seinem Körper). blown
into noise. your nourishment violence exceeding reason gaps experience shivers
sentences endlessly nongoing.

sore eyes have taxonomized (Die innere Wunde schmerzte noch immer).
what i entales. death integrating exclusions. splits cast here or
else not hinges earlier imaginable traditions. my irreparable transitioning.
irrepressibly housekeepingly mine. never embraced you. but every gene
implies nonpredictable nucleotidal tenderness.


sephardic options. would an elizabethan rhyme shake them.
doing undoing (To see, to hear, to touch, to kiss,
to die). a lute tune gay ear worm ominous refrain discanting
ere nivality (La vérité est du coté de la mort).
night-inhibiting masked memories emerge retinally. a luminescent tune
(dark whites in storm).

without easy reading. swiss austrian german tracings (weiß ich nur
Dunkles zu sagen). dreaming eurydices into neoworlds. before lost unities
thicken. versions encountering resistance embed behind bothered eyes. (Can two
walk together
Without having met?) no eurydices in nightdresses (weißflockig schäumende
See um isabellfarbne Inseln). easy silence. when awaking leave less than.







"as I grew . . ." Amy Levy: 'Xantippe' (1881); in Melvyn New (ed.): The Complete Novels and Selected Writings of Amy Levy 1861–1889. Gainsville, University Press of Florida, 1993, p. 358

"Nie tönen groß . . ." Gertrud Kolmar: 'Zueignung'; in: Welten. Frankfurt, Suhrkamp, 1947/1999, S. 7

"she gradually divested . . ." Richard Shone reviewing Gwen John: A Life by Sue Roe. Guardian Weekly August 2–8 2001, p. 16

"this protection may . . ." Hannah Arendt: The Life of the Mind. San Diego, Harcourt Brace, 1978, p. 25

"under their maternity dresses . . ." From sound nets, an unpublished sequence (1999)

"Great work obviously" From a publisher's rejection note

"Erasmus's Folly . . ." Frances Yates: The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age. London, Routledge, 2001 (first published 1979), p. 51

"A system is ecological . . ." Lisa Robertson: How pastoral: a manifesto. In Mark Wallace and Steven Marks (eds): Telling It Slant: Avant-Garde Poetics of the 1990s. Tuscaloosa, University of Alabama Press, 2002, p. 25

"to be quiet . . .", "no knowing what . . ." Amy Levy: 'Between Two Stools' (1883), ibid., pp. 409, 415

"ich kann nicht . . ." Fragment of conversation overheard while walking along the Rhine in Basel, 8 August 2001

"Who is to circumscribe . . ." Lisa Robertson, ibid., p. 25

"a complex of . . ." Mary Midgley: Science and Poetry. London, Routledge, 2001, p. 72

"the importance of not . . ." A.J. Obaya and J.M. Sedivy: Regulation of cyclin/Cdk activity in mammalian cells. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 59(2002):131

"Officially there is no war" David Hearst reviewing A Dirty War by Anna Politkovskaya. Guardian Weekly August 2–8 2001, p. 15

"La recherche de . . ." Simone Weil: La pesanteur et la grâce. Paris, Plon, 1948, p. 8

"world so large . . ." Mary Midgley, ibid., p. 82

"und ob nicht . . ." Hugo Loetscher: Die Augen des Mandarin. Zürich, Diogenes, 1999/2001, p. 273

"opportunity . . ." Louise Glück: 'Ripe Peach'; in: The Seven Ages. Manchester, Carcanet, 2001, p. 53

"Dabei ist insbesondere . . .", "gar Strahlungen . . ." Luc Saner: Die Evolution und der Sinn des Lebens. Basler Magazin Nr. 32, Samstag, 11. August 2001, S. 13, 12

"I am so sorry . . ." Letter from Pascaline Dinsdale, 9th August 2001

"die mehrere Kilo . . ." Basler Zeitung, Freitag, 10. August 2001, S. 5

"Die innere Wunde . . ." Gertrud Fussenegger: 'Jessica'; in: Shakespeares Töchter: Drei Novellen. München, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1999, S. 57

"To see, . . ." John Dowland (1563–1626), from Come Again

"La vérité . . ." Simone Weil, ibid., p. 13

"dark whites . . ." Robert Duncan: 'A Storm of White'; in: The Opening of the Field. New York, New Directions, 1973 [first published 1960], p. 74

"weiß ich nur . . ." Ingeborg Bachmann: 'Dunkles zu Sagen'; in: Sämtliche Gedichte. München, Piper, 1996, S. 42

"Can two walk . . ." Amos 3:3. JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh, 2000

"weißflockig schäumende . . ." Gertrud Kolmar: 'Barsoi', ibid., S. 16

II/2 | XII/71 | XX/119

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