Flight and Meta­mor­pho­sis by Nel­ly Sachs

Flight and Meta­mor­pho­sis by Nel­ly Sachs

Trans­la­tor: Joshua Wein­er

This central collection by the poet, dramatist, and Nobel laureate Nelly Sachs―newly translated from the German by Joshua Weiner (with Linda B. Parshall)―reveals the visionary poet’s remarkable power of creation and transformation

So far out, in the open,
cushioned in sleep.
In flight from the land
with love’s heavy luggage.

A butterfly-zone of dreams
like an open parasol
held up against the truth.

Flight and Metamorphosis marks the culmination of Nelly Sachs’s development as a poet. Sachs, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1966, speaks from her own condition as a refugee from Nazi Germany―her loneliness while living in a small Stockholm flat with her elderly mother; her exile, her alienation, her feelings of romantic bereavement; and her search for the divine. Forced onto a journey of endless change, Sachs created her own path forward.

From these sublime poems, she emerges as a visionary, one who harnesses language’s essential power to create and transform our world. Joshua Weiner’s translations (with Linda B. Parshall) are the first in more than half a century to elucidate Sachs’s enduring poetic power and relevance.

Year first published: 2022

Read a review on Jewish Book Council

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