Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sappho of Lesbos and Helen of Troy

In the Days of Sappho by John William Godward (1904, Getty Center, Los Angeles). Sappho lived circa 612/630-570 BC, perhaps 600 years after the Trojan War.

Here's a sample from Sappho's Fragment 16, which could, I suppose, be called "Helen of Troy." English translation by Anne Carson, with my own line breaks given the contraints of formatting here:

Some men say an army of horse and
some men say an army on foot and
some men say an army of ships is
the most beautiful thing on
this black earth.
But I say it is
. . . what you love. . .

I would rather see her
lovely step and
the motion of light
on her face than
the chariots of the Lydians or
ranks of foot soldiers in arms. . .

Today's Rune: Journey.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

So, Sappho and Helen. I'm intrigued. :)