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The Love Songs of Sappho: Translated with an Essay by Paul Roche

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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  187 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Called the "Tenth Muse" by the ancients, Greece's greatest female lyric poet Sappho (ca. 610-580 b.c.e.) spent the majority of her life on the famed island of Lesbos. Passionate and breathtaking, Sappho's poems survive only in fragments following religious conspiracies to silence her. Sappho penned immortal verse on the intense power of the female libido; on the themes of ...more
Paperback, 251 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Prometheus Books (first published 1966)
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Zeynep
Jan 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: şiir, lgbtqia, classics
although the ancient lesbian poet trope is intriguing as it is, sappho's poetry has a lot more to offer; it tells a lot about affection, desire, human relationships and time and does this in a profoundly simple way. i'm not sure why but i think sappho is most enjoyable when read in bed on a cold winter morning when you're still a bit sleepy and hazy.
Rozele
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To truly appreciate the wonder of Sappho's writing, one has to understand her history and know the background of this amazing poetess. What has to be realized is that her poetry was the first of its kind, the first of the love poems, the first of the lyric poems, and the first poems of human experiences which feel so real, it's remarkable how relevant they are today.

Sappho was called the "tenth muse" and these words do not fail to describe the pure majesty of her writing. And although it grieves
...more
Mary
Dec 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I decided to pick this up out of some sort of lesbian duty, combined with a general interest (usually left unexplored) in classical Greek literature. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it, but now I adore Sappho. Despite the inherent translation obstacles, the song fragments are beautiful and simple.

I can't compare this edition to others, but it seems to be a good introduction to Sappho. The supplemental essays and appendices give the reader a general overview of the poet's life, her influence on her c
...more
Shani Black
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have always been a bit wary of poetry since the stuff I had to study in school was so terrible, but then I stumbled upon The Anactoria Poem. Sappho is a genius and writes such heartbreaking and true things about what it is to be a woman, to be angry and to feel in love. I loved every single poem in this book.
Kelly
LVI

"It can never be mine
To sit in the door in the sun
And watch the world go by,
A pageant and a dream.

For I was born for love
And fashioned for desire,
Beauty, passion, and joy,
And sorrow and unrest;

And with all things of earth
Eternally must I go
Daring the perilous bourn
Of joyance and death,

A strain of song by night,
A shadow on the hill,
A hint of odorous grass,
A murmur of the sea."
kylajaclyn
Dec 05, 2015 rated it liked it
I discovered Sappho's poetry in my world literature class, and I think she is quite brilliant. The only other person who can write short poems with such meaning is Dorothy Parker (I'm not talking about haikus). It's a shame that so little exists of Sappho's work, but we are quite lucky to have anything at all. The Greek mythology is often heavy, but beyond that her lines resonate with an undeniable universalism.
Peregrine 12
Dec 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Nerds, desperate lovers, people who have to learn about ancient Greece
As far as ancient poetry goes, this was pretty good. Some of Sappho's allusions to love and lust were pretty steamy, too, if I may say so (in a nerdy 'I dig this ancient book' kind of way). I read this as part of a Greek studies class, and it's the only book I kept after graduation. Yay, Sappho.
Christina Wright
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There is a reason the Greeks called her "the ninth muse." Her poetry is raw and pulls at your heart strings.
Rebekah
Nov 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, poetry
I did really like the last poem in the collection “Life Slips By” and poem 5 “Last Night I said to Him”
Cassa
Jun 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, for-class
Not sure which version/translation I read, but this cover looks closest. I adore Sappho's work, every word.
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Sappho (Σαπφώ or Ψάπφω) was an Ancient Greek lyric poet, born on the island of Lesbos. In history and poetry texts, she is sometimes associated with the city of Mytilene on Lesbos; she was also said to have been born in Eresos, another city on Lesbos. Her birth was sometime between 630 BC and 612 BC, and it is said that she died around 570 BC. The bulk of her poetry, which was well-known and great ...more
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