Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Some Say


Translated by Peter Saint-Andre

Some say an army of horsemen or footmen or rowers
Is the most beautiful thing over the coal-black earth,
But I say it is that thing, whatever it is,
That one loves and desires.

All easy it is to make this clear to anyone,
For Helen, far surpassing all mortals in beauty,
Leaving behind the best of all men,
Departed, sailing for Troy --
And not at all did she remember
Parents, nor love of children,
But passion directed her....

Now my Anactoria too is gone, and
I would rather see her supple walk
And the bright sparkle of her face
Than all the chariots of Lydia
And foot-soldiers in arms.

Sappho

3 comments:

Dexter said...

Always new you were a Sapphic at heart. Then again who isn't?

check out First Poets by Michael Schmidt...

Dexter said...

gnu? knew? damn my spelling is toast.

dolittle said...

"new" vs. "knew" can certainly be excused as a typo - It's the "there" vs. "their" and the like that seem to be the direct result of poor spelling!