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Paul Franz
Portrait of Paul Franz

Paul Franz is a writer and editor based in Toronto. He writes: “In 1964, for the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth, Paul Celan published eighteen translations of the English poet’s sonnets into German. Celan reprinted this selection, increased by three, under the title Einundzwanzig Sonette (Twenty-one Sonnets) in 1967. The present re-translation is an attempt to make perceptible, for English-language readers, the most overtly transformative of Celan’s refractions: his version of Sonnet 5. My version is based on the German text as it appears in Celan’s Gesammelte Werke, Band V (Suhrkamp, 1983). I am indebted especially to David Kramer and Steven J. Willett for their helpful criticism.” (updated 4/2011)

AGNI has published the following translation:

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 5
by Paul Celan
Translated from the German by Paul Franz
AGNI 73 Print Only
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