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This website is dedicated to the poetry of Nelly Sachs (1891—1970) - perhaps the greatest mystical poet of the twentieth century

As a German Jew, she escaped from Berlin, to Stockholm, in May 1940; and lived the rest of her life in Sweden. All her great poetry stems from the trauma of this exile. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1966.

For further introduction, see the theological essay here on her work, Revelation Freshly Erupting: The Poetry of Nelly Sachs

Translated are seven collections:

In den Wohnungen des Todes / In the Habitations of Death, 1947

(All except a few poems rendered virtually untranslatable by their dependence on rhyme)

Sternverdunkelung / Star Eclipse, 1949

Und Niemand weiß weiter / And No One Knows The Way Onward, 1957

Flucht und Verwandlung / Flight and Metamorphosis, 1959

Fahrt ins Staublose / Out Beyond This Realm of Dust, 1961

Noch feiert Tod das Leben / Death Still Celebrates Life, 1961

• Teile dich Nacht / O Night, Divide, 1971

There are also some notes provided

NEW - a number of the poems are available as readings by the translator

The translator

I am a retired theologian: Canon Emeritus of Manchester Cathedral, having been Canon Theologian there, 2004-14.

Besides translating German poetry, I have also published a number of works of philosophical theology; largely focusing on the legacy of Hegel.

I also discuss Sachs’ work in ‘What Is Truth?’ Towards a Theological Poetics

Andrew Shanks



Books page (Amazon)

Copyright Notice

All of the translations on this site are © Andrew Shanks 2015 and may not be reproduced in any format without his written permission

Nelly Sachs   Translated  into English