It, the language, remained

It, the language, remained, not lost, yes in spite of everything. But it had to pass through its own answerlessness, pass through  frightful muting, pass through the thousand darknesses of a death-bent speech. It passed through and gave back no words for that which happened; yet it passed through this happening. Passed through and could come to light again, ‘enriched’ by all this.

— Celan, Bremen Literary Prize Acceptance Speech, 1958

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