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bear by san

March 2017

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bear by san

Random poetry bolus

You may
blame Aphrodite

Soft as she is

she has almost
killed me with
love for that boy

--Sappho

Comments

I haven't the foggiest. I just found it scribbled in an old notebook, and since my flight from academe, I take great pleasure in never writing down a source unless I have to. *g*
Mary Barnard. It's fragment 12. The whole bit goes:

It's no use

Mother dear, I
can't finish my
weaving
You may
blame Aphrodite

soft as she is

she has almost
killed me with
love for that boy
I have the most eruditest flist in the wurld.

Thank you!
Oh god yeah.

I have been that girl who couldn't manage her homework.

Wow.
I love Mary Barnard's translations!

Speaking of speaking across the centuries... Take a look at Margaret Reynolds' book "The Sappho Companion". It is a history of the ways that the idea of the poet Sappho has changed over the centuries. It's not just that translations of the text were different - Reynolds discusses their differences in detail, with great examples - it's that various times and places developed different interpretations of the poet.

In other words, 7th century Italy had a different mythos of what Sappho "meant" than 17th century Britain or 19th century Argentina. Those myth-Sapphos were important not just for people who wanted to translate Sappho- they were crucial to women's concept of themselves as writers. And for me, translating 19th and early 20th century Latin American women's poetry, Reynolds' book has been very helpful.
That Aphrodite. Such a kidder.
Well, you can have *both.* Collect the whole set!