Synopses & Reviews
For the first time in Penguin Classics—the incomparable verse of the ancient Greek lyric poet Sappho, in a brilliant new translation
Sappho's writings are said to have filled nine papyrus rolls in the great library at Alexandria, but only one poem survives complete. This new translation of all of Sappho's extant poetry showcases the wide variety of themes in her work, from amorous songs celebrating adolescent females to poems of invocation, desire, spite, celebration, resignation, and remembrance. Aaron Poochigian captures the eros and mystery of Sappho's verse, bringing to readers of English the living voice of the poet Plato called "the tenth Muse," whose lyric power remains undiminished after 2,500 years.
More or less 150 years after Homer's Iliad, Sappho lived on the island of Lesbos, west off the coast of what is present Turkey. Little remains today of her writings, which are said to have filled nine papyrus rolls in the great library at Alexandria some 500 years after her death. The surviving texts consist of a lamentably small and fragmented body of lyric poetry among them poems of invocation, desire, spite, celebration, resignation and remembrance that nevertheless enables us to hear the living voice of the poet Plato called the tenth Muse. This is a new translation of her surviving poetry.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust theseries to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-datetranslations by award-winning translators."
About the Author
was born sometime between 630 and 617 BC and died around 570. She was a native of the island of Lesbos and is renowned as the first woman poet in literary history.
Aaron Poochigian is the D. L. Jordon Fellow at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. His poems and translations have appeared in a number of journals, including Chimaera, Classical Journal, and Unsplendid.
Carol Ann Duffy is a British poet and playwright.