The Sluice

by Emily

Paul Celan

Over all this
grief of yours: no
second heaven

………….

To a mouth
for which it was a thousandword
lost —
I lost a word
that was left to me:
Sister.

To
polygoddedness
I lost a word that sought me:
Kaddish.

Through
the sluice I had to go,
to salvage the word back into
and out of and across the salt flood:
Yizkor.

This might be the last one. I won’t be sorry if it’s not though, these are a pretty incredible way to start the day. If you don’t know what any of the words in this poem mean, LOOK THEM UP. I included handy little hyperlinks if you’re too lazy to type the words into Google yourself. Knowing what those (and any) words mean (in every poem) is crucial to actually understanding the significance and depth of the poem.

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