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Paul Celan Writing Styles in Late and Deep

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One of the chief characteristics of poetry is its repetition. This poem repeats several phrases and elements. "We swear" is repeated four times. This repetition emphasizes the ritualized and formal nature of the oath being taken. All these examples are from the first stanza. The swearing is consecutive and repetitive. In the middle of the poem are several acknowledgments of "We've known it," and "Known it long since." In this sequence, however, the repetition is interrupted by other imagery, until it occurs one more time, in the penultimate stanza, "We know it full well," which provides a transition to the repeated guilt motif, which in turn transforms itself from "let the guilt come" to "let come what never yet was" to the ultimate line, "Let a man come forth from the grave." Thus, Celan uses at least three distinctive methods of repetition. He repeats "swear" in a compact...

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This section contains 528 words
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Poetry for Students
Late and Deep from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.