18 August 2014

Poem of the Week 2014/34

I am still recovering from my summertime flu – I'm functional, but minimally – so here are some more Sappho fragments. This time there are two, and they're the ones Dorothy Burr Thompson adapted for The Dancers, which we saw earlier this year, so you can do some compare-and-contrast.

In the spring twilight

The full moon is shining:
Girls take their places
as though around an altar


And their feet move

Rhythmically, as tender
feet of Cretan girls
danced once around an

altar of love, crushing
a circle in the soft
smooth flowering grass


These are again from the Mary Barnard translation. Dorothy Burr Thompson's version is from Swans and Amber: Some Early Greek Lyrics Freely Adapted and Translated.

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