Poets who inspire me: Sappho

My last poet for today is Sappho from the island of Lesbos born sometime in 612BCE she was forced to flee for a time after a tyrant called Pittacus came to power, Sappho wrote many political poems as well as the traditional love poetry indeed there are similarities between her work and those of contemporary male Greek poets. Below are two poems and a link to a collection on Project Gutenberg.

He seems to me just like the Gods,

That man wh sits opposite you

And, while close to you, listens to

You sweetly speaking

And laughing with love-things which cause

The heart in my breast to tremble.

For whenever I look at you,

I can speak no more.

My tongue freezes silent and stiff,

Light flame trickles under my skin,

I no longer see with my eyes,

My ears hear whirring,

Cold sweat covers me, shivering takes

Me complete captive, I become

More green than the grass, near to death

To myself I seem.

Sappho once wrote a poem for her husband and their daughter;

I have a lovely child, whose form is like

Gold flowers, my heart’s one pleasure, Cleis,

For whom I’d not give all Lydia, nor fair..


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