It's St. Brigid day, and all across the blogosphere people are posting poems.
Last year I featured my favourite modern poet, this year I thought I would showcase a favourite ancient poetess.
The sinking moon has left the sky,
The Pleiades have also gone.
Midnight comes -- and goes, the hours fly
And solitary still, I lie.
He seems to me equals to gods that man
whoever he is who opposite you
sits and listens close
to your sweet speaking
and lovely laughing - oh it
puts the heart in my chest on wings
for when I look at you, even a moment, no speaking
is left in me
no: tongue breaks and thin
fire is racing under skin
and in eyes no sight and drumming
and cold sweat holds me and shaking
grips me all, greener than grass
I am and dead - or almost
I seem to me.
But all is to be dared, because even a person of poetry...
Both are modern translations of Sappho, I can't remember who translated the first, but the second is a translation by a wonderful poet named Ann Carson. Most of the fragments that remain by Sappho survive only in snippets and tiny fragments, sometimes of a word only. Sappho 31 was adapted by my favourite Latin poet, Catullus.
Hope you enjoyed it!