Book Title: Poems of Paul Celan
Format: Hardback | 432 pages
Publication Date: 31 Mar 2007
The first Anvil edition of this book was awarded the EC's inaugural European Translation Prize in 1990. Paul Celan is among the most important German-language poets of the century, and, in George Steiner's words, 'almost certainly the major European poet of the period after 1945.' He was born in 1920 into a Jewish family in Bukovina, a German enclave in Romania which was destroyed by the Nazis. His parents were taken to a concentration camp in 1942, and did not return; Celan managed to escape deportation and to survive. After settling in Paris in 1948, he soon gained widespread recognition as a poet with the publication of his first collection of poems in 1952. Language, Paul Celan said, was the only thing that remained intact for him after the war. His experiences of the war years and of the loss of his parents are the recurrent themes of his poetry. In the end they led as well to his suicide by drowning in 1970.
This third Anvil edition of Michael Hamburger's selected translations now includes the previously uncollected longer poem "Wolf's Bean", several additional short poems, and the essay "On Translating Celan" in which he discusses the challenges faced over many years in his engagement with Celan's poetry. The first Anvil edition of this book was awarded the EC's inaugural European Translation Prize in 1990.