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Nelly Sachs

  • O the chimneys / On the ingeniously devised habitations of death / When Israel's body drifted as smoke / Through the air ...

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • title poem, O the Chimneys ()
  • When sleep leaves the body like smoke and man, sated with secrets, drives the overworked nag of quarrel out of its stall, then the fire-breathing union begins anew ...

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "When sleep enters the body like smoke," O the Chimneys ()
  • Why the black answer of hate / to your existence, Israel? / ... / In the others' choir / you always sang / one note lower / or one note higher ...

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "Why the black answer of hate," O the Chimneys ()
  • World, do not ask those snatched from death / where they are going, / they are always going to their graves.

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "World, do not ask those snatched from death," O the Chimneys ()
  • ... but for the homeless all ways wither / like cut flowers ...

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "World, do not ask those snatched from death," O the Chimneys ()
  • In the evening your vision widens / looks out beyond midnight — / ... / We are in a sickroom. / But the night belongs to the angels.

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "In the evening your vision widens," O the Chimneys ()
  • Peoples of the earth, / do not destroy the universe of words, / ... / O that no one mean death when he says life — / and not blood when he speaks cradle ...

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "Peoples of the earth," O the Chimneys ()
  • Earth, old man of the planets, you suck at my foot / which wants to fly ...

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "Earth, old man of the planets, you suck at my foot," O the Chimneys ()
  • Here and there the lantern of compassion / can be shown to the fish, / where the fishhook is swallowed / or suffocation practiced.

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "Here and there the lantern of compassion," O the Chimneys ()
  • Dancer / woman in childbirth / you alone / carry on the hidden navel-string / of your body / the identical god-given jewels / of death and birth.

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "Dancer," O the Chimneys ()
  • Someone / will take the ball / from the hands that play / the game of terror.

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "Someone," O the Chimneys ()
  • A stranger always has / his homeland in his arms / like an orphan / for which he may be seeking / nothing but a grave.

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "Someone comes," O the Chimneys ()
  • Death still celebrates / the life in you ...

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "Death still celebrates," O the Chimneys ()
  • Music played in the resurrection ashes.

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "Night of nights," O the Chimneys ()
  • This chain of enigmas / hung on the neck of night ...

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "This chain of enigmas," O the Chimneys ()
  • And you walked over death / like a bird in snow.

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "Glowing Enigma III," O the Chimneys ()
  • But silence is where the victims dwell ...

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "Glowing Enigma III," O the Chimneys ()
  • run to the sea/ grow breathless / refuse to blossom / for another has died / who took time's measure ...

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "Glowing Enigma III," O the Chimneys ()

Nelly Sachs, German-born Swedish-Jewish poet, playwright, Nobel Prize winner

(1891 - 1970)