Sappho, Twelve Poems
Everything Sappho's work which has come down to us gives off the same fragrance compounded of sunlight, love, the sea and women, the same intoxicating scent of feelings as that which perfumes a single half-obliterated word in the margin of her writings. It is on such words and fragments of verses that I have chiefly concentrated, since the mystery which surrounds them has the same effect as a transparent veil casually thrown over shapely limbs, or the last remaining patches of a masterly wall painting, allowing the vividest imagination free rein. On her dreamlike island of Lesbos, the dusky Sappho created poetry which radiates her passion for life and nature, her modesty, her courage and her wisdom handing down to us a quality of happiness comparable to the masterpieces of archaic plastic art.
This edition contains twelve fragments of Sappho's poetry in their original form, together with an English rendering.
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