Sappho

Oct. 7th, 2006 11:12 pm
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
[personal profile] lesbiassparrow
I am prepping a lecture on Sappho and I bring you some of the most gorgeous poetry ever to have been written.

Sappho 16

Some say an army of horsemen, others
say foot-soldiers, still others, a fleet,
is the fairest thing on the dark earth:
I say it is whatever one loves.

Everyone can understand this --
consider that Helen, far surpassing
the beauty of mortals, leaving behind
the best man of all,

sailed away to Troy. She had no
memory of her child or dear parents,
since she was led astray

reminding me now of Anaktoria
being gone,

I would rather see her lovely step
and the radiant sparkle of her face
than all the war-chariots in Lydia
and soldiers battling in shining bronze.


Sappho 31

that man seems to me to be godlike,
who sits beside you, and close,
who listens to you sweetly speaking
and laughing temptingly;

my heart flutters in my breast,
whenever I look quickly, for a moment --
I say nothing, my tongue broken,
a delicate fire runs under my skin,

my eyes see nothing, my ears roar,
cold sweat rushes down me,
trembling seizes me,
I am greener than grass,
to myself I seem
close to death.

But all must be endured, since . . .

Fragment. 105a

Like the sweet apple that reddens on the highest bough,
high on the highest bough, and the apple gatherers have forgotten it -
no, they have not forgotten it completely, but they could not reach it.

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lesbiassparrow

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