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The Complete Poems of Sappho

The Complete Poems of Sappho

Paperback

By (author) Willis Barnstone

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  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 214mm x 18mm | 322g
  • Publication date: 1 April 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Boston
  • ISBN 10: 1590306139
  • ISBN 13: 9781590306130
  • Edition statement: Original
  • Sales rank: 70,356

Product description

Sappho's thrilling lyric verse has been unremittingly popular for more than 2,600 years--certainly a record for poetry of any kind--and love for her art only increases as time goes on. Though her extant work consists only of a collection of fragments and a handful of complete poems, her mystique endures to be discovered anew by each generation, and to inspire new efforts at bringing the spirit of her Greek words faithfully into English. In the past, translators have taken two basic approaches to Sappho: either very literally translating only the words in the fragments, or taking the liberty of reconstructing the missing parts. Willis Barnstone has taken a middle course, in which he remains faithful to the words of the fragments, only very judiciously filling in a word or phrase in cases where the meaning is obvious. This edition includes extensive notes and a special section of "Testimonia" appreciations of Sappho in the words of ancient writers from Plato to Plutarch. Also included are a glossary of all the figures mentioned in the poems, and suggestions for further reading.

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Review quote

"Mysterious, mellifluous Sappho shines anew in this glorious translation, and Barnstone's masterful introduction locates her historically, unveils her impassioned life, and reflects on the sensuous grace of her poverty, revealing the woman as she's never been seen before."--Diane Ackerman, author of "A Natural History of the Senses" "I have Sappho with me all the time now, as this collection is absolutely stunning in every respect, and I'm filled with gratitude to you for having borne it into the world. May your Sappho be blessed. It is a tremendous gift to all of us."--Carolyn Forche, author of "The Country Between Us "and" The Blue Hour" "A feast for those who, like me, are hungry to know more about the great poet Sappho. The translations of the poems and fragments read elegantly and the introduction and supporting material are lavishly informative and interesting."--David Ferry, translator of "Gilgamesh "and "The Georgics of Virgil" "What a joy to have Willis Barnstone's "Sweetbitter Love." This is not only a vivid, sensuously elegant translation of every scrap of Sappho we have; the wonderful introduction is designed to increase our ardor as well as our knowledge, and the appendix containing everything the ancients said of her as well as poetic tributes up through Baudelaire's is itself a treasure."--Alicia Ostriker, author of "No Heaven "and "Stealing the Language" "As a student I treasured the original Barnstone Sappho, and it is a joy to have this new version made current with the latest scholarship and enriched by four decades of further reflection. Sappho's famous voice is clear and powerful, even in the shards that remain to us, and Barnstone embraces and captures this phenomenon like no one else. This is a Sappho rendered with wisdom and heart for newcomers and connoisseurs alike."--Jeffrey Henderson, Editor, Loeb Classical Library "What amazes me is how Sappho's lyrics, composed in the seventh century B.C.E., transcend