Poetry Wednesday: Anagrams by Unica Zürn

Hexentexte (Witches’ Writings) (Grimoire de Sorcière)

Ich streue das weisse Nichts;
ach, Weiss ist nichts. Reue des
weissen Rauchs sticht Seide
der Nachsicht. Suesse ist wie
das Weisse. Schreie: Tu’s nicht!
Sie ist ich! Werd’ suesse Nacht!

I spread the white nothing
alas, white is nothing. Remorse
of white smoke stabs silk
of lenity. Sweetness is like
the white. Shout: Don’t do it!
She is me! Become sweet night!

Je sème le néant blanc,
hélas ! Blanc n’est rien. Regret
de fumée blanche vise soie
de l’indulgence. Douceur est comme
le blanc. Cris: Ne le fais pas !
Elle est moi ! » Deviens douce nuit !

Wir lieben den Tod

Rot winde den Leib,
Brot wende in Leid,

ende Not, Beil wird
Leben. Wir, dein Tod,
weben dein Lot dir
in Erde. Wildboten,
wir lieben den Tod.

We love the death

red, do wind the body
do turn bread into dolour,
end distress, hatchet becomes
life. We, your death,
weave your plumb to you
into earth. Deer couriers,
we love the death.

Nous aimons la mort

Rouge, tords le corps
tournes pain en chagrin,
arrêtes la détresse, hachette devient
vie. Nous, ta mort,
tissent ton aplomb à toi
dans la terre. Coursiers de chasse,
nous aimons la mort.

(translated by Dagmar Travner)

Unica Zürn (* 6. Juli 1916 in Berlin-Grunewald als Nora Berta Unica Ruth Zürn; † 19. Oktober 1970 in Paris) war eine deutsche Schriftstellerin und Zeichnerin.

Unica Zürn (born July 6, 1916 in Berlin-Grunewald; died 1970 in Paris) was a German author and painter. She is remembered for her works of anagram poetry and exhibitions of automatic drawing.

Unica Zürn, auteure et peintre allemande née à Grunewald le 6 juillet 1916 et morte à Paris en 1970.

Der Begriff Anagramm (von griechisch: ανά γράμμα, anagraphein, deutsch: „umschreiben“) bezeichnet einen Satz, also eine Folge von Wörtern, der durch Umstellung (Permutation) der einzelnen Buchstaben aus einem anderen Satz gebildet wurde.

An anagram (Greek ανά γράμμα anagramma ‘letters written anew’, passive participle of ana- ‘again’ + gramma ‘letter’) is a type of word play, the result of rearranging the letters of a word or phrase to produce other words, using all the original letters exactly once.

Une anagramme (du grec ανά, « en arrière », et γράμμα, « lettre ») est le résultat de la permutation des lettres d’un ou plusieurs mots de manière à produire d’autres mots qui ont un sens. Jeu littéraire, il peut aussi avoir une valeur ésotérique. Il a fait l’objet de l’attention autant des linguistes – à l’instar de Ferdinand de Saussure – que des psychanalistes et des poètes contemporains.

Poetry Wednesday is hosted by Sans Souci
and @ multiply: Sans Souci

more drawings by Unica Zürn see @ my multiply blog!

5 thoughts on “Poetry Wednesday: Anagrams by Unica Zürn

  1. Very deep and intense, I was trying to read the English/French; now looking at the German, can you show us the anagrams please, I would love to understand this better, it’s like a puzzle.
    Thanks very much for posting today, there’s something to be learned here.

    Like

  2. Only the german poems here shown are ANAGRAMS – this means the first line is given / invented and the following lines consist of THE SAME LETTERS in a NEW ORDER! You don’t invent or create the following line – you FIND the anagram lines in a inspired searching process.
    On the one hand the formal constraint results in a very rigid language, on the other hand just this formal corsett opens a new field of poetic images, indeed.

    Like

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