Sappho, Diogenes of Sinope, Archilochos, Alkman, Anakreon, Herakleitos, Herondas
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"Overall, this volume will afford great pleasure to scholars, teachers, and also those who simply love to watch delightful souls disport themselves in language."—Anne Carson
Here is a colorful variety pf works by seven Greek poets and philosophers who lived from the eighth to the third centuries BC. Salvaged from shattered pottery vases and tattered scrolls of papyrus, everything decipherable from the remains of these ancient authors is assembled here. From early to later, the collection contains: Archilochos; Sappho; Alkman; Anakreon; the philosophers Herakleitos and Diogenes; and Herondas. This composite of fragments translated by Guy Davenport is the most complete collection of its kind ever to appear in one volume.
into bounden love? Sappho, who does you wrong? If she balks, I promise, soon she’ll chase, If she’s turned from gifts, now she’ll give them. And if she does not love you, she will love, Helpless, she will love. Come, then, loose me from cruelties. Give my tethered heart its full desire. Fulfill, and, come, lock your shield with mine Throughout the siege. 2 Come out of Crete And find me here, Come to your grove, Mellow apple trees And holy altar Where the sweet smoke Of libanum is in Your praise,
shy as a child. 78 Watch me out of the corners of your eyes, Do you, Thracian colt? Prance away, do you, As if I didn’t know how to catch you? You’d better know that I can bridle you, Rein you in, ride you to the finish line. You play in the meadow, nibbling, romping. That’s for now. Soon enough I’ll break you in. 79 Girl in a golden robe, Girl with curly hair, Listen to an old man, Listen to me. 80 Of all my stalwart friends, Aristokleides, I grieve most for you, who died young To keep your
98 Like the cuckoo, I made myself scarce When she was about. 99 wants To seduce us. 100 Twining thigh with thigh. 101 Lovely, too lovely, And too many love you. 102 Cut the collar through Ripped the coat down the back. 103 As drunk and rolling As if he were Dionysos. 104 [Spring wind] shakes The darkleaved laurel and green olive tree. 105 Glowing with desire, Gleaming with spiced oil 106 [Eros’] wanton, reckless, aimless Arrows circle around my ears. 107 Sea-purple dye. 108 [The beauty of
for order, order for chaos, reminds us of our own. Much was dying, much was being born. Isaiah and Jeremiah, moving in a world much larger than Sappho’s, roared at the confusion with fire and vision that we understand all too well. The strenuous flexibility of the rhythms of the next three centuries was beginning. Statues were unfreezing from their Egyptiac stiffness; drawing became graceful, calligraphic, paced like the geometric patterns of weaving and ceramics. Iron was pulling out ahead of
Republic, and his letters. What remain are his comments as passed down through folklore to be recorded by various writers. These have obviously been distorted, misascribed, and reworked. The ones I have chosen are from Diogenes Laërtius and Plutarch. He was a public scold, a pest, a licensed jester. He was also powerfully influential as a moral and critical force. It was at a school of Cynics in Tarsus that a Roman Jew named Shaul Paulus learned to command rhetoric, logic, and rigorous candor.