Only one thing remained close and reachable amid all losses: language.
Yes, language. In spite of everything it remained unlost [unverloren]. But it had to go through its own lack of answers [Antwortlosigkeit], through terrifying silence [furchtbares Verstummen], through the thousand darknesses of murderous speech. It went through and gave no words for what happened; but it went through this event [Geschehen]. It went through and could resurface, “enriched” by it all.
In this language, I tried, during those years and the years after, to write poems: in order to speak, to orient myself, to find out where I was, where I was being taken [wohin es mit mir wollte], to sketch for myself a reality [Wirklichkeit].
It meant, as you see, event, movement, being on the way, it was an attempt to find direction.
Paul Celan, “Ansprache,” 128