By Stephen Dunn
Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
A clever and sleek new assortment through considered one of our "major, fundamental poets" (Sidney Lea). The mysteries of Eros and Thanatos, the obdurate persistence of brain and physique within the face of diminishment--these are the undercurrents of Stephen Dunn's 11th quantity. "I am attracted to exploring the 'different' hours," he says, "not in simple terms of one's lifestyles, but in addition of the bigger historic and philosophical existence past the personal."
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Extra resources for Different Hours
Much o f this work proved helpful in revising and fine-tuning the translations— something I keep doing today and will no doubt keep doing in the future. 36 The detailed narrative o f the various stages o f this project is not meant to propose the count o f years and the accumulation o f versions as proof o f quality; to the contrary: it is meant to relativize the very notion o f a definitive, final translation. Any given stage was as definite a translation as I could make at that time, and next years version would no doubt be different from this one.
Reality for Celan, maybe more so than for any other poet this century, was the word, was language. Radically dispossessed o f any other real ity he set about to create his own language— a language as absolutely exiled as he himself. e. to find a similarly current English or Am eri can “ Umgangssprache”— would be to miss an essential aspect o f the poetry, the linguistic under-mining and displacement that creates a multi-perspectivity m irror ing and reticulating the polysemous meanings o f the work.
Von un getrau m tem 4 geatzt, wirft das schlaflos durchwanderte Brotiand den Lebensberg auf. Aus seiner Krume knetest du neu unsre Namen, die ich, ein deinem gleichendes Aug an jedem der Finger, abtaste nach einer Stelle, durch die ich mich zu dir heranwachen kann, die helle Hungerkerze im Mund. By t h e u n d r e a m t etched, the sleeplessly wandered-through breadland casts up the life mountain. From its crumb you knead anew our names, which I, an eye similar to yours on each finger, probe for a place, through which I can wake myself toward you, the bright hungercandle in mouth.