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Pure Pagan: Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments

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Pure Pagan: Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“For there is indeed something we can call the spirit of ancient Greece–a carefully tuned voice that speaks out of the grave with astonishing clarity and grace , a distinctive voice that, taken as a whole, is like no other voice that has ever sung on this earth.”

BURTON RAFFEL, from his Preface

For centuries, the poetry of Homer, Aristophanes, Sophocles, Sappho, and Archilochus has served as one of our primary means of connecting with the wholly vanished world of ancient Greece. But the works of numerous other great and prolific poets–Alkaios, Meleager, and Simonides, to name a few–are rarely translated into English , and are largely unknown to modern readers. In Pure Pagan, award-winning translator Burton Raffel brings these and many other wise and witty ancient Greek writers to an English-speaking audience for the first time, in full poetic flower. Their humorous and philosophical ruminations create a vivid portrait of everyday life in ancient Greece –and they are phenomenally lovely as well.

In short, sharp bursts of song, these two-thousand-year-old poems speak about the timeless matters of everyday life:

Wine (Wine is the medicine / To call for, the best medicine / To drink deep, deep)

History (Not us: no. / It began with our fathers, / I’ve heard).

Movers and shakers (If a man shakes loose stones / To make a wall with / Stones may fall on his head / Instead)

Old age (Old age is a debt we like to be owed / Not one we like to collect)

Frankness (Speak / As you please / And hear what can never / Please).

There are also wonderful epigrams (Take what you have while you have it: you’ll lose it soon enough. / A single summer turns a kid into a shaggy goat) and epitaphs (Here I lie, beneath this stone, the famous woman who untied her belt for only one man).

The entrancing beauty, humor, and piercing clarity of these poems will draw readers into the Greeks’ journeys to foreign lands, their bacchanalian parties and ferocious battles, as well as into the more intimate settings of their kitchens and bedrooms. The poetry of Pure Pagan reveals the ancient Greeks’ dreams, their sense of humor, sorrows, triumphs, and their most deeply held values, fleshing out our understanding of and appreciation for this fascinating civilization and its artistic legacy.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

Edited by an award-winning translator and poet, a collection of works from ancient Greece is an introduction to the genre for English-language readers and offers insight into how period writers regarded love, war, domestic life, vice, and friendship. Reprint.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307431646
Subtitle:
Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Translator:
Raffel, Burton
Translated by:
Burton, Raffel
Introduction:
Davenport, Guy
Author:
Raffel, Burton
Author:
Guy Davenport
Author:
Davenport, Guy
Author:
Selected and Translated by Burton Raffel
Author:
Burton, Raffel
Subject:
Poetry : General
Subject:
Poetry : Ancient, Classical & Medieval
Subject:
Ancient, Classical & Medieval
Subject:
General Poetry
Subject:
Classics-Greek Anthologies
Subject:
Classics-Medieval and Renaissance General
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20051011
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
112

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Medieval and Renaissance
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Pure Pagan: Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments
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Product details 112 pages Random House Publishing Group - English 9780307431646 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Edited by an award-winning translator and poet, a collection of works from ancient Greece is an introduction to the genre for English-language readers and offers insight into how period writers regarded love, war, domestic life, vice, and friendship. Reprint.
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