Monday, June 11, 2018

The Love Songs of Sappho: Mini Review

My delight is the exquisite.
    Yes, for me, 
Glitter and sunlight and love
    Are one society.
So I shall not go creeping away
    To die in the dark:
I shall go on living with you,
    Loving and loved.
[from #158]

The Love Songs of Sappho (translated by Paul Roche) is made of Six Books with 171 fragments and full poems. Few of Sappho's poems come to us in their entirety and that is unfortunate. It is unfortunate because what little remains shows Sappho to be a master of the lyric form--providing passionate passages full of the joy of life and loving as well as pain, sorrow, jealousy and regret associated with love unreciprocated or gone wrong. Her words are memorable even when they aren't all there. Roche provides a beautiful translation as well as a very informative essay which gives us as full a portrait of the classic poet as possible. ★★★★

 ********* a side note...who knew that "damp as a dishcloth" had its origins in the fragments of of Sappho's poetry?

         I am as limp
as a wet worn-out dish cloth 

[Finished 5/23/18]

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