And yet despair gave birth to poetry : the lamentations of Paul Celan in Poppy and memory / by Linda Jane Burkhead Gary.
With the publication of Poppy and Memory in 1952, Paul Celan confronted the world with the deep, unrelenting despair that inspired his complex, haunting, and enigmatic poetic expression. In these poems, Celan reveals the underlying reality of the devastation of the Shoah---the annihilation of European Jewry, the destruction of his homeland, the murder of his parents, and his tormented existence as an exile. This dissertation examines the driving forces behind Celan's earliest poetry, seeking to demonstrate ways in which these poems may be approached for the purpose of interpreting the work in light of Celan's background, tradition, and experience. In order to accomplish this, a straightforward English translation of these lyrics is necessary. My translation of Poppy and Memory seeks to gain access in English to Celan's poetic expression and to demonstrate how these poems can be approached for a poetic interpretation. This approach places the poems in the context of the despair that "gave birth" to the Holocaust lamentations of Paul Celan.*Ibid.
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