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Come Close

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,000 ratings  ·  135 reviews
'Yes, we did many things, then - all Beautiful ...'

Lyrical, powerful poems about love, sexuality, sun-soaked Greece and the gods.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon r
Paperback, Little Black Classics, #74, 55 pages
Published February 26th 2015 by Penguin Classics (first published -600)
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Bookdragon Sean
"Come close you precious
Graces and muses
With beautiful tresses……"

The ancient Greeks were nothing if they weren’t frivolous. But every society has its limits. Male homosexuality is frequently referenced in works of antiquity. But, female homosexuality is almost non-existent. Sappho makes an unusual case in her poetry. Not unusual in its content, but unusual in its rarity. Sappho’s poetry is relatively simple, whist she doesn’t explicitly argue for same sex coupling, she provides an image of fem
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
That impossible predator,
Eros the Limb-Loosener,
Bitter-sweetly and afresh
Savages my flesh

Reading this collection of poems a dynamic image composed of the many striking impressions left on the reader’s mind comes alive in a single, scintillating whole. Here is Sappho of Lesbos – young and insistent, old and ardent - with her delicate fingers on her own throbbing pulse through which courses fragrant blood of desire and death-longing pervading her frangible heart with a surrendering melancholy whet
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, grsm-lgbtqia
But I love extravagance,
And wanting it has handed down
The glitter and glamour of the sun
As my inheritance.

I truly do believe no maiden that will live
To look upon the brilliance of the sun
Ever will be contemplative
Like this one.
"Untainted Graces
With wrists like roses,
Please come close,

There was this tumblr post, that was something like:

them: "do you have any fantasies?"

me: "so, I find this complete, untarnished document of Sapphos poems"

and I related to it a lot.

Sappho is just so goddamned poetic. Like some drunk, seductive nymph in a clearing, resting in a crystal blue pond, and you look at her and you realize the world is beautiful, you are mortal, and love is a rock hard punch and a feather light touch that you f
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I first read these poems, I thought Sappho was male. But after researching his her poetry I learned that Sappho was a actually a female archaic Greek poet from the island of Lesbos. I couldn't believe it. This is such a game changer for me because it has stunning consequences for the meaning of her poetry – it turns out that not a man mused about the beauty and his lust for women, no, it was a woman herself. I love it when people are unapologetic about their sexuality, especially in times w ...more
Michelle Curie
Reading Sappho knowing that she was not one of those lustful male Greeks, but in fact a lesbian poetess changes everything. Her poetry, full of attraction and lust, were mainly directed at women she loved and desired.

In a way, it's the context that makes me enjoy the poems more then their actual lyricism. They're pompous and occasionally a bit too opulent for my personal liking:

"Time and again we plucked lush flowers, wed
Spray after spray in strands and fastened them
Around your soft neck; you
Sonja ✧ Badass Wanderer ✧
You will have memories
Because of what we did back then
When we were new at this,
Yes, we did many things, then—all
Beautiful . . .
Come Close is my favourite Little Black Classic so far! It's filled with timeless verses of poetry. The more I read the more I fell in love with Sappho's writing!

Sappho's poems contain many references to Greek gods and their stories. I found that part very interesting; I've always loved reading Greek mythology! Because of this LBC I now have this urge to buy and read
Mar 27, 2015 added it
Shelves: 2015
Sappho, my love, my light.
These translations by Aaron Poochigian are stunning to read. Lyrical and beautiful.
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
“I declare
That later on,
Even in an age unlike our own,
Someone will remember who we are.”
Liz Janet
Dec 20, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was read for the #readwomen month.
Sappho was a poetess that lived in Lesbos, in a time where homosexual relationships between men was widely accepted, but homosexual relationships between women were not, so she decided to give everyone the middle finger and proceeded to write poetry about how much she loved women. Yes Sappho, I applaud you. Her surviving poems are some of the most beautiful of all the Greek poetry I have read, so I am glad they have honoured her over others (mainly ol
Apr 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Ancient poetry novices
I declare
That later on,
Even in an age unlike our own,
Someone will remember who we are.

I've wanted to try Sappho for a while now and, as it's now poetry month, it seemed an appropriate time to try this short collection. I think I've mentioned before that I don't always 'get' poetry and I can't claim to have really thoroughly understood it all, but I feel like a got the feeling of most of it and I liked everything I did get. I'll probably reread it a few times to see if my understanding gets any b
Marianne - November Words
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I declare
That later on,
Even in an age unlike our own,
Someone will remember who we are.
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Sappho's poetry is amazing. I love the style and the themes of her poems. It is pretty sad that most of her poetry is lost. I decided to read the English translation but I believe that it is much better in Greek. But again, her work is incredible and deserves recognition.
‘Yes, we did many things, then - all beautiful…’

Come Close is a poetry collection of poems written by the Ancient Greek poet Sappho. Sappho apparently was born around 630 B.C. and died around 570 B.C., so her poems were written sometime in between those years. This particular collection was translated by Aaron Poochigian. The poems in this collection are mainly centered around love, sexuality, gods and goddesses.

Did I lIke It?:
I absolutely loved this poetry collection! The poems were beaut
Joey Woolfardis
The wisdom of the Greeks will never cease to amaze me, much like the English-speaking and-writing abilities of the non-English will never cease, either. Sappho's musings are versed with an air of knowing that most Greek Muses seemed to possess without much trying. Perhaps a little dull, but very much a rare occurrence, as mostly they are poignant with much to think upon.

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Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was really enjoying this, and was like, I reckon 4 stars! Pretty amazing, but v short. and then it was like this:
I declare
That later on,
Even in an age unlike our own,
Someone will remember who we are.

And I was like
5 stars
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
While some of these poems were gentle and pleasing most were dribble. An unbalanced selection of poetry.
Perhaps the reason most of them have been lost to time and only fragments remain is because compared to other poets of the period she is quite bad...
Such a pleasant surprise. I approached this tiny book with a shade of doubt - I’m not a big poetry fan, and I’m not a connoisseur of antiquity - but what I found were clear and captivating lines of poetry that are universal and timeless.
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm so sad that most of Sappho's work was lost. She's a force of nature.
Ezgi Tülü
Mar 12, 2018 added it
Shelves: poetry
I declare
That later on,
Even in an age unlike our own,
Someone will remember who we are.
I have now read three translations of Sappho's poetry, namely Poems and Fragments (translator: Stanley Lombardo), If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho (translator: Anne Carson), and Come Close, adapted from Stung With Love: Poems and Fragments (translator: Aaron Poochigan). It strikes me as interesting how the versions of the poems vary from edition to edition, depending on the translator's endeavor to preserve the original text or to adapt it for an English-speaking poetry audience.

Take one of
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
4/5 stars

Come Close is a collection of poems written by Greek lyric poet Sappho, born on Lesbos, and was said to have died around 570 BCE. This was my third for the 2016 Classics Challenge, held by Stacey/prettybooks.

WHEN I Discovered This Classic

I found out about Sappho several months ago while I was catching up with Jean's videos on YouTube. I really recommend Jean, she's one of my favourite Booktubers!

WHY I Chose to Read It

I adore all LGBT+ literature, and when I found out that Sappho was a l
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I declare
that later on,
Even in an age unlike our own,
Someone will remember who we are.

A lovely little book of Sappho's enchanting, hazy poetry - of particular resonance were the sections entitled "Desire and Death-Longing", "Troy", and "The Wisdom of Sappho". While this edition does not have any notes or introduction (both of which are probably useful when reading Sappho), I feel that cannot mark it down on that score since I went in knowing that this edition was the work itself, unadorned. I a
Apr 19, 2015 added it
'I want to tell you something but good taste
Restrains me.'

If you wanted to express
Some noble or gorgeous thought -- that is, unless
Your tongue were keen to utter in hot taste
Some shameful slur, "good taste" would not have

Your face in red, no, you would have professed
Whatever you would say upfront and straightaway.'

Is it silly that I think punctuation makes all the difference in poetry? I rather like the passage above, but I read and re-read it only to understand I have grossly misco
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I declare
That later on,
Even in an age unlike our own,
Someone will remember who we are.

apppiiii... see viimane luuletus võttis ikka küll rajalt maha
nii jube mõelda et see oli legit mingi 2000+ aastat tagasi....

aga noh üldiselt
osad asjad riimusid ja see oli päris mõnus
aga siis olid jälle osad asjad mis olid nii suvakad... kahju et ma originaalkeeles seda lugeda ei oska
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq
Today was a good day.
Watched Carol. Finished this book.
What a brilliant day indeed.
Such, brilliance, this day.
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, poetry
This was so wonderful - I am so sad that it is over. I must get myself a complete copy of Sappho.
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Full review available at:

This is going to be an odd review because Come Closer is full of fragments of poetry. Most of Sappho’s work is lost, although two new poems were discovered in London in 2014, and only fragments of the larger poems remain. She probably wrote over 10,000 lines of poetry during her life but only around 650 lines remain. It’s almost heart breaking because it would be amazing to have more of her poetry. The longest fragment in existence is
Margaux Andrea
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it

That fellow strikes me as a god’s double,
Couched with you face to face, delighting
In your warm manner, your amiable
Talk and inviting

Laughter—the revelation flutters
My ventricles, my sternum and stomach.
The least glimpse, and my lost voice stutters,
Refuses to come back

Because my tongue is shattered. Gauzy
Flame runs radiating under
My skin; all that I see is hazy,
My ears all thunder.

Sweat comes quickly, and a shiver
Vibrates my frame. I am more sallow
Than grass and suffer such a fever
As death s
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Poochigian's translation is simpler, compared to Barnstone's, yet very lyrical. However, I found that this simplistic style makes the poems *sound* less delicate (even though I am not sure which one--Poochigian's or Barnstone's--is more accurate) and also there are too many rhyme schemes going on. This drives away Sappho's compelling tone and results in a weightless one instead.

Despite all of the drawbacks, Come Close is still a beautiful read especially when you need something short but meanin
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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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“You will have memories
Because of what we did back then
When we were new at this,

Yes, we did many things, then - all
“I declare
That later on,
Even in an age unlike our own,
Someone will remember who we are.”
More quotes…