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Pure Pagan: Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments

by

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:

“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, / Ive 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: youll 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:

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, the award-winning poet and translator Burton Raffel writes in his preface to this collection of Greek poetry written between the years 650 B.C. and 50 A.D. While we learn a great deal about ancient Greece from writers like Homer, Aristophanes, and Sappho, Raffel goes on to say, our picture is sadly incomplete until we read the poetry of such lesser-known greats as Alkaios, Callimachos, and Simonides. In Pure Pagan, Raffel introduces these and many other brilliant and accessible ancient Greek poets to an English speaking audience for the first time. Their poignant and down-to-earth ruminations, both humorous and philosophical, create a vivid portrait of everyday life in ancient Greece and provide remarkably fresh insights into the ancient Greek psyche. And they are phenomenally lovely. Ranging in tone from the funny and bawdy to the wise and contemplative, all of the poems are very fresh, alive, and poignant, and speak in everyday voices about topics such as love and death, sex, war and peace, domestic life, drunkeness and debauchery, and friendship. A perfect gift book or bedside companion, Pure Pagan provides a wholly fresh glimpse into the innermost thoughts and feelings of a vanished world.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780812969627
Translator:
Raffel, Burton
Introduction:
Davenport, Guy
Translator:
Raffel, Burton
Introduction by:
Davenport, Guy
Introduction:
Davenport, Guy
Author:
Raffel, Burton
Author:
Selected and Translated by Burton Raffel
Author:
Davenport, Guy
Publisher:
Modern Library
Subject:
Ancient, Classical & Medieval
Subject:
General Poetry
Subject:
Classics-Medieval and Renaissance General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Modern Library Classics
Publication Date:
20051031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
MAP
Pages:
112
Dimensions:
8.12x5.28x.33 in. .23 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Medieval and Renaissance
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
History and Social Science » World History » General

Pure Pagan: Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments New Trade Paper
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Product details 112 pages Modern Library - English 9780812969627 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , “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, / Ive 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: youll 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" by , 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, the award-winning poet and translator Burton Raffel writes in his preface to this collection of Greek poetry written between the years 650 B.C. and 50 A.D. While we learn a great deal about ancient Greece from writers like Homer, Aristophanes, and Sappho, Raffel goes on to say, our picture is sadly incomplete until we read the poetry of such lesser-known greats as Alkaios, Callimachos, and Simonides. In Pure Pagan, Raffel introduces these and many other brilliant and accessible ancient Greek poets to an English speaking audience for the first time. Their poignant and down-to-earth ruminations, both humorous and philosophical, create a vivid portrait of everyday life in ancient Greece and provide remarkably fresh insights into the ancient Greek psyche. And they are phenomenally lovely. Ranging in tone from the funny and bawdy to the wise and contemplative, all of the poems are very fresh, alive, and poignant, and speak in everyday voices about topics such as love and death, sex, war and peace, domestic life, drunkeness and debauchery, and friendship. A perfect gift book or bedside companion, Pure Pagan provides a wholly fresh glimpse into the innermost thoughts and feelings of a vanished world.
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