Sequence after Celan 1 Spring: trees flying up to their birds where the sun is the seeds are freed their small sound a wound like death watercoloured and open each foliated lung with its breathing understory the climb of springtime into the loud light sky filled with dove-coloured words 2 the climbed evening is thick with lung-scrub a nocturne of oxygen of spring sillage the raising of the dead and their flowers the night deer with hooves of heather the precision of an owl in *rooted darkness in the tangled bramble a knot of blood 3 water needles stitch up the split shadow-he fights his way deeper down, free rain wholly itself a breathing torrent hitting the half-lit a million microdazzles a mouse mud-buried a blinking scut the fluency of a softer death a spring nothingness a heart-smoke 4 in the air, there your root remains, there, in the air up the sky bitten open the sun exhumed clouds bud and bloom with roots of rain 5 All things, even the heaviest, were fledged, nothing, held back. weeds like wicks ending long-edged weighted by a bursting yellow re-bloom and climb a white tufted voile like breath solidifying the hung lungs letting go everything uprooted * after The green gardens are gone. What is left is a grief-bulb. It has no smell or sound, just a dormant red. So is the air with its salt and silence. So is the hunter with his glacial ethics.
Sequence after Celan is © Gillian Prew
Born Stirling, Scotland in 1966, Gillian Prew studied Philosophy at the University of Glasgow from 1984 to 1988. Her chapbook, Disconnections, can be purchased from erbacce-press (2011) and another chapbook, In the Broken Things, published by Virgogray Press (2011). Her collection, Throats Full of Graves, has been published in 2013 by Lapwing Publications. A further collection, A Wound’s Sound, was released from Oneiros Books in April 2014.
Her latest chapbook, Three Colours Grief, was published by erbacce-press in June 2016. She is online at https://gprew.wordpress.com/
She has been twice short-listed for the erbacce-prize and twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
4 responses to “‘Sequence after Celan’ by Gillian Prew”
stunning… yes. stunning
thanks for commenting Nike E.
Reblogged this on reubenwoolley.
Maybe she’s referencing this poem by Celan
I heard it said by Paul Celan
(trans. by Pierre Joris)
I heard it said there was
a stone in the water and a circle,
and above the water a word
that lays the circle around the stone.
I saw my poplar go down to the water,
I saw her arm reach down into the depth,
I saw her roots beg skyward for night.
I did not run after her,
I only picked up from the ground the crumb
that has your eye’s shape and nobility,
I took the chain of proverbs off your neck
and with it hemmed the table where the crumb now lay.
And no longer saw my poplar.