I’ve been hunting up and following those of my contemporaries eager to slip between the Scylla of Academic L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry and the Charybdis of the Mainstream Workshop poem, and synchronicitously I see a new selected poems of Paul Celan is in the offing, one whose selection upsets the reception of Celan that would make of him an anti-lyrical, formalist, proto-L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poet. As Station Hill’s catalogue puts it:
Paul Celan, arguably the mid-20th century’s most important German-language poet, is commonly pigeonholed as a poet of the Holocaust—a term, however, he never used. Undoing facile assumptions about Celan, Corona charts a more idiosyncratic and personal path through Celan’s large oeuvre, choosing 103 poems from among the more than 900 Celan published. The bilingual selection includes work from all of Celan’s periods and genres. Without ignoring the poet’s well-known work of memory and memorialization, it seeks to open a space for new appreciation of Celan’s love poems, as well as his poems on political events, painful reflections on his stays in mental hospitals, and quasi-burlesque verse.
My interest is piqued!
Corona: Selected Poems of Paul Celan