Deathfugue Symbolism, Imagery, & Allegory
There’s more to a poem than meets the eye.
The first three lines are a repetitive invocation to "black milk" that forms the first musical theme of the poem's fugue (see "Form and Meter"). Black milk symbolizes the unwholesome and bitter qua...
The man who lives in a house couldn't sound more ordinary at first – we know lots of men who live in houses! But it soon becomes clear that this man is a Nazi guard, most likely a member of t...
The poem expects that the reader is familiar with the enduring images of misery that have come out of the Holocaust: emaciated prisoners behind wire fences, guards with machine guns in watch towers...
German Art and Literature
Paul Celan had a difficult – you might even say tortured – relationship with the language and culture of Germany. He grew up speaking German, and he clearly admires the great literary a...
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