Manual Sappho Surprise

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  1. Catullan Voices in Heroides How Sappho Became a Man
  2. Sappho house (Bed and Breakfast), Athens (Greece) Deals
  3. 2. Dirk Obbink, Sappho Fragments 58– Text, Apparatus Criticus, and Translation
  4. Hearing Sappho
TRAILER: The Age of Tyrants: Sappho via Gounod's Opera - Edith Hall

Like every woman in our pop-culture-driven world, Jessica and I are bombarded with imagery and messages that urge us to scrutinize and criticize our own appearance. Unsurprisingly, we are taught to find ourselves lacking in one way or many, and to compare ourselves with an impossible ideal.

We were a little surprised to find courage and consolation in Ancient Greece, where they were all about the impossible ideal.

Catullan Voices in Heroides How Sappho Became a Man

As you can clearly see, the illustration is styled after the designs and motifs of ancient Greek pottery, right down to the amphora handles. We especially loved her self-reflection in the poem we chose, and the way she managed to view her aging body with kindness.

It brought to mind, for me, an image of dual goddesses who are really two faces of the same woman—like the Maiden and Crone archetypes so common in other pre-Christian cultures. Like the art of ancient Greece, the illustration is chock full of allegorical imagery. Both figures play a seven-stringed lyre: Sappho was a lyrical poet, which means her poetry was designed to be performed to music.

Compared to our previous broadsides , the composition and color scheme of this piece are fairly simple. The printing, on the other hand, was not. All those curves made it hard to line up the plates, and we had huge floods of color paired with delicate lines and text. To help her with the ink coverage and add just a tiny bit more pop to the color, Jessica ran the vase shape in a run of subtle cream first.

All that fiddly and difficult technical stuff made the finished product that much sweeter.

Sappho house (Bed and Breakfast), Athens (Greece) Deals

Not historically, of course, but after I read Horace, I wanted more classics, and it came down to the Aeneid which I am saving for the summer or Sappho since I didn't want to reread Homer or Ovid's Metamorphoses , the other Greeks and Romans on my shelves. Willis Barnstone's translations of the Sapphic fragments are simply beautiful, and Sappho is surprise! I say it is the one you love. But the bits of her work that are left are all touched with the melancholy of fragments.

New theories are calling into question how personal her erotic poems actually are.

The few apparently complete poems that have survived 2, years are, like the one I just quoted, so brilliant that I cannot help but be saddened by the loss of all the other brilliant poems she must have written. Barnstone calls one of the most famous poems "Seizure": To me he seems like a god as he sits facing you and hears you near as you speak softly and laugh in a sweet echo that jolts the heart in my ribs.

2. Dirk Obbink, Sappho Fragments 58– Text, Apparatus Criticus, and Translation

For now as I look at you my voice is empty and can say nothing as my tongue cracks and slender fire is quick under my skin. My eyes are dead to light, my ears pound, and sweat pours over me.

I convulse, greener than grass, and feel my mind slip as I go close to death, yet, being poor, must suffer everything. I wonder, wonder, wonder what the rest of this poem said: Come, holy tortoise shell, my lyre, speak to me and find your voice.

Hearing Sappho

Or this, which, like so many passages in Horace, reveals so much about the world Sappho lived in, without trying to tell us anything in that "informational" way at all: Dika, take some shoots of dill and loop them with your tender hands about your lovely hair.

The blessed Graces love her who wears flowers but turn their backs on one who goes plain. I mentioned Horace's reference to the purple dyes of Sidon; Sappho refers to them, too: My mother always said that in her youth she was exceedingly in fashion wearing a purple ribbon looped in her hair. But the girl whose hair is yellower than torchlight need wear no colorful ribbons from Sardis or some Ionian city.