„How you die out in me:

down to the last
worn-out
knot of breath
you're there, with a
splinter
of life.“

—  Paul Celan

Source: Poems of Paul Celan

Last update June 3, 2021. History
Paul Celan photo
Paul Celan13
Romanian poet and translator 1920 - 1970

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Letter to his family (18 October 1918); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917–1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker. It was also published in The Oak Parker (Oak Park, IL) on 16 November 1918. Only 19 years old at the time, Hemingway was recovering from wounds suffered at the front line while serving as a Red Cross volunteer.

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„I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood.
I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.“

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Context: I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. … I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood.
I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.
And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think you've not any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I'd starve to death before I'd sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow.

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