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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Flight and Metamorphosis

Flight and Metamorphosis

Poems: A Bilingual Edition

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


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.

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.

Joshua Weiner is a poet and translator. He is the author of The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish, From the Book of Giants, The World’s Room, and Berlin Notebook: Where Are the Refugees, and the editor of At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn. He is an English professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the poetry editor at Tikkun magazine. Weiner lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, the novelist Sarah Blake.

Linda B. Parshall’s publications include scholarly articles and translations focused on German literature, landscape theory, and art history from the medieval to the modern period. Most recently, she edited and translated Letters of a Dead Man by Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau.

Nelly Sachs

Nobel Prize Biographiy

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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