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5 Burnside CLSCS- GREEK200a
1 Hawthorne Classics- Greek
7 Remote Warehouse Classics- Medieval and Renaissance General
20 Remote Warehouse Classics- Medieval and Renaissance General

If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho


If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho Cover

ISBN13: 9780375724510
ISBN10: 0375724516
All Product Details




Fragment 22






if not, winter

]no pain


]I bid you sing

of Gongyla, Abanthis, taking up

your lyre as (now again) longing

floats around you.

you beauty. For her dress when you saw it

stirred you. And I rejoice.

In fact she herself once blamed me


because I prayed

this word:

I want

Fragment 47

Eros shook my

mind like a mountain wind falling on oak trees

Fragment 52

I would not think to touch the sky with two arms

Fragment 56

not one girl I think

who looks on the light of the sun

will ever

have wisdom

like this

Fragment 147

someone will remember us

I say

even in another time

Fragment 162

with what eyes?

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john paisley, April 23, 2015 (view all comments by john paisley)
This is an astonishing work. The translations are spare and riveting, all sides of the penetrating voice of this singer come through as if you could actually hear it. Anne Carson is an expert in Greek and her comments on particular words and the shades of meaning they might convey are as exciting as the poetry. As Edith Hall says, "Carson's Sappho is so powerful that it will make life difficult for any future translator."
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Product Details

Fragments of Sappho
Carson, Anne
Carson, Anne
Ancient, Classical & Medieval
POETRY / Ancient, Classical & Medieval
Classics-Medieval and Renaissance General
POETRY / Canadian
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Vintage Contemporaries
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.11x5.21x.92 in. .69 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Greek
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Greek » Texts
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Medieval and Renaissance
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » Featured Titles

If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho New Trade Paper
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Product details 416 pages Vintage - English 9780375724510 Reviews:
"Review" by , “Astonishing.…Think of Carson’s brackets in If Not, Winter as a free space of lyrical adventure and the translation becomes immediately less a document of broken texts than an experiment in trust and imagination, as if each bracket were a flag that Carson was raising to signal us to run up and take over the baton. In her decision to give us less in her translation of Sappho, Carson has actually made the text ultimately more generous, and in this way has granted readers the pleasure of imagining their own versions of Sappho.…This is the Anne Carson we fell in love with years ago: the scholar so enamored of her subject that merely gesturing toward it with a grin was enough to hook the rest of us…If Not, Winter is a selfless, faithful, and boldly delicate achievement.”
"Review" by , “Because language changes, as do our individual interpretations and understanding of literary works, no translation is final. Classicist, poet and essayist Anne Carson has undertaken a rendering of one of the most popular and written-about ancient poets, Sappho. In If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho, Carson adds a fresh and learned interpretive reading of a great poet’s lyrical work, which has come down to us in shards....Entering the world of [Sappho’s] poetry, by combining these remaining poetic fragments, her sentences and short expressions are nothing less than incendiary. We feel the poet’s loves, her desires and her jealousies. Across time, religion and other cultural and social realities, Sappho’s work intimately speaks to her reader.”
"Review" by , “However little remains of Sappho's work, the thought of her shone down the millennia, illuminating the work of other poets. For centuries hers was the most admired (and at times the only) female voice that could be heard singing of love…She wrote with passion about the transports of love and worship. She described moments of touching intimacy with a child, a lover or a goddess, using ordinary images–a violet, a star, the piercing voice of a bird–to carry extraordinary emotion. [In If Not, Winter,] Greek texts printed on facing pages allow readers familiar with ancient Aolic Greek pronunciation, lucky things, to catch an echo of the sound. The rest of us will have to rely on Carson for that echo, which isn't a bad substitute. Although Carson wears her classicist's headdress to make this translation, with her we're always in the hands of a poet, one who knows how to make words pause and spring…Scanty as they are, the fragments of Sappho's songs nevertheless give a taste of what the fuss was all about.”
"Review" by , “Sappho composed poetry: erotic, sensual, desperate poetry, filled with the anger of desire, wonder at the beauty of the desired one, the sweet languor of gratification. And now her verse has been elevated to new heights in a gorgeous translation by Anne Carson. It is partly what is missing in the poems to which we bring our own desires and interpretations, that enhances its erotic spell.…By bringing her particular kind of austerity to the translation, Ms. Carson has deepened Sappho’s mystery and yet brought us closer to her… Ms. Carson is one of the most extraordinary poets writing in English. In book after book, she has bent and reshaped the poetic form.”
"Review" by , “[Sappho’s] words–here, in Anne Carson’s faithful new translation–come as close as literature can to life, to a direct reflection of experience.…The fragments of Sappho constitute a compelling demonstration of the tragic power of the word…Carson is in many ways the ideal translator, an accomplished classicist who frequently writes on Hellenic themes in her own verse…Her command of language is honed to a perfect edge and her approach to the text, respectful yet imaginative, results in verse that lets Sappho shine forth without a lot of fuss…Carson’s notes are enormously enjoyable. She takes the reader to the very heart of the process of translation.…She makes an admission [about a two-word fragment] that few scholars, if any, would be brave enough to utter: ‘On the other hand, I may be reading this sentence all wrong.’ It’s a wonderful sentence, gleaming with a candor worthy of Sappho herself, which inspires confidence that in If Not, Winter, Carson is getting it right, all right.”
"Review" by , “The poet Anne Carson has been thinking about the poet Sappho for a very long time…[and] Sappho’s elusiveness has not daunted Carson from producing a dazzling new translation of her work…The book contains every extant word reliably attributed to the woman Plato called the tenth Muse…[Carson] has what might be called a genius for anachronism. [She] is a learned and serious scholar. She is also a bracingly modern polymath. To see her fingering the shattered text left behind by the greatest lyric poet of ancient Greece is to watch an enormous mind pondering a puzzle that was made for it…If Not, Winter is certainly idiosyncratic, though hardly reckless…Yet the new translation feels so fresh and new, it seems almost blasphemous…This Sappho is whispering in our ear in a language we can understand.”
"Synopsis" by , A bilingual edition of the work of the Greek poet Sappho, in a new translation by Anne Carson.

Sappho lived on the island of Lesbos from about 630 b.c. She was a musical genius who devoted her life to composing and performing songs. Of the nine books of lyrics Sappho is said to have composed, none of the music is extant and only one poem has survived complete. All the rest are fragments. In If Not, Winter Carson presents all of Sappho's fragments in Greek and in English. Brackets and space give the reader a sense of what is absent as well as what is present on the papyrus. Carson's translation illuminates Sappho's reflections on love, desire, marriage, exile, cushions, bees, old age, shame, time, chickpeas and many other aspects of the human situation.

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