what a wonderful welcome
on the way –
Wrapped in the
sheets of the winds
feet in the prayers of the sand
that never can say Amen
flying forever
from the fin to the wing
and ever on –
The sick butterfly
soon learns again of the sea –
This stone
with the fly’s inscription
has surrendered itself to my hand –
Instead of my homeland
I hold the metamorphoses of the world –

In der Flucht
welch großer Empfang
unterwegs –

in der Winde Tuch
Füße im Gebet des Sandes
der niemals Amen sagen kann
denn er muß
von der Flosse in den Flügel
und weiter –

Der kranke Schmetterling
weiß bald wieder vom Meer –
dieser Stein
mit der Inschrift der Fliege
hat sich mir in die Hand gegeben –
An Stelle von Heimat
halte ich die Verwandlungen der Welt –

For Nelly Sachs’ own recital of this, click  here


2 thoughts on “Fleeing

  1. Dear Catterel,

    my name is Dan Fischman and I am a curator in the Jewish Museum Vienna.

    I am currettly working on a photo exhibition showing the life and the transit of Iranian Jews trough Vienna to the US. The exhibition will be accompanied by a german and english catalogue.

    The Photographer (Christine de Grancy) wants to use the poem of Nelly Sachs “Auf der Flucht” as introduction to her photographs. Because all our catalogues are also in english I was reserching a good translation of the poem. So I found your blog.

    My question would be now if we, the Jewish Museum Vienna, are allowed to use your translation. Of course we will give all the neceserary credits to you and your blog.

    It would be wonderful if you would give us your permission to do so. You can reach me under my E-Mail address: dan.fischman@jmw.at

    Dan Fischman

  2. […] form of someone reblogging a post or – as at the moment – the Jewish Museum of Vienna borrowing one of my translations to accompany an exhibition. Acknowledgment from those I respect is sufficient […]

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