Sunday, October 16, 2011

I have not had one word from her

Frankly I wish I were dead
When she left, she wept
a great deal; she said to me, This parting must be
endured, Sappho. I go unwillingly.
I said, Go, and be happy
but remember (you know
well) whom you leave shackled by love
If you forget me, think
of our gifts to Aphrodite
and all the loveliness that we shared
all the violet tiaras,
braided rosebuds, dill and
crocus twined around your young neck
myrrh poured on your head
and on soft mats girls with
all that they most wished for beside them
while no voices chanted
choruses without ours,
no woodlot bloomed in spring without song...
--Translated by Mary Barnard

Sappho c 630BC

 Down below, in the cellar, and elsewhere in the house, controversy rages. But here in the attic we will quietly celebrate with a poem.

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