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 are the first in more than half a century to elucidate Sachs’s enduring poetic power and relevance.
About the Author
Nelly Sachs (1891–1970) was a dramatist and poet. Born into a Jewish family in Berlin, she was forced to flee Germany and escape to Sweden with her mother in 1940, where she worked as a translator. Her collections of poetry include In the Habitations of Death, Eclipse of Stars, And No One Knows Where to Go, and Flight and Metamorphosis. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1966.