My thoughts can't be stilled any more than the air, and they have even less of substance. Though insubstantial, they are stuck in things, and partake of thingly decay. Maybe when I sleep unstartled the things let go, but when I wake the things don't remember, or don't let me know they do. I am always forgetting, and then forgetting that I have forgotten, but then feel the air move and remember that I have felt it so before. Without reminders I might forget to know I am, and then would not know what fell, or even what felt as though it had fallen. So the things remind me that I am a thing, and the thoughts in things continue. Then here they are, word-bound, being reminders. How vague they are, falling all over themselves.
(Speak, you also...)
by Paul Celan
Speak, you also,
speak as the last,
have your say.
But keep yes and no unsplit.
And give your say this meaning:
give it the shade.
Give it shade enough,
give it as much
as you know has been dealt out between
midnight and midday and midnight.
look how it all leaps alive -
where death is! Alive!
He speaks truly who speaks the shade.
But now shrinks the place where you stand:
Where now, stripped by shade, will you go?
Upward. Grope your way up.
Thinner you grow, less knowable, finer.
Finer: a thread by which
it wants to be lowered, the star:
to float farther down, down below
where it sees itself gleam: in the swell
of wandering words.