Saturday, June 25, 2005

Sappho's latest

In the Times Literary Supplement, Martin West has translated a new, complete Sappho poem. Gotta love old poets, and she's still going strong after 2,600 years!

"[You for] the fragrant-blossomed Muses’ lovely gifts
[be zealous,] girls, [and the] clear melodious lyre:

[but my once tender] body old age now
[has seized;] my hair’s turned [white] instead of dark;

my heart’s grown heavy, my knees will not support me,
that once on a time were fleet for the dance as fawns.

This state I oft bemoan; but what’s to do?
Not to grow old, being human, there’s no way.

Tithonus once, the tale was, rose-armed Dawn,
love-smitten, carried off to the world’s end,

handsome and young then, yet in time grey age
o’ertook him, husband of immortal wife."

1 comment:

Jane from Dunedin said...

Over 2,000 years old and yet the sentiments are universal - the human experience expressed artfully, beautifully