There was Earth in them, and
They dug and they dug, and so
their Day went by, and their Night. And they did not praise God,
who, so they heard, wanted all this,
who, so they heard, knew of all this.
They dug and they heard nothing more;
did not grow wise, invented no Song,
thought up for themselves no Language.
There came a Silence, there came a Storm,
There came every Ocean.
I dig, you dig, and it digs, the Worm,
and the Singing, there, says: They dig.
O someone, o none, o no one, o you:
Where did it lead to, that nowhere-leading?
O you dig and I dig, and I dig towards you,
and on our finger awakens the Ring.
Paul Celan, “There was Earth in them.” From Die Niemandsrose (1963).