Resentment towards God in the Religous Poem, Tenebrae

751 WordsJan 27, 20183 Pages
In “Tenebrae,” Paul Celan channels his resentment towards God through a methodical use of literary techniques. Celan utilizes several motifs to express his bitterness throughout the religious poem that allow his emotions to be portrayed in an understandable manner. One may identify death and a sense of closeness as the major motifs along with drinking and prayer as minor motifs Celan used to portray his dark emotions. With the use of effective motifs, the key element of role reversal, and an angered tone, Celan gets his warning to God. The poem is spoken through humans towards God, with an evident theme of death that is demonstrated throughout the poem. Death is shown through the sense of slaughter; it is brought up in the beginning of the poem with the use of words “claw,” and “clawed.” It is a possibility that these words are the author’s way of referencing the slaughter. In ritual slaughter animals were killed not by blunt force, but by something sharp. Knifes or perhaps claws were used to cut the animal open such that blood flowed freely out the animal1.Celan keeps up the motif of death with the following verses. “Askew we went there,” (10) “went there to bend” (11) “down to the trough, to the crater.” (12) “To be watered we went there, Lord.” (13) Celan alludes to animals with the metaphor in lines 11 and 12 with the word “trough”. One may agree with this idea considering the fact that cattle feed, and drink out of troughs. “Crater” and “watered” could be seen as
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