Best Famous Sappho Poems
Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Sappho poems. This is a select list of the best famous Sappho poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Sappho poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of sappho poems.
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My Atthis, although our dear Anaktoria
lives in distant Sardis,
she thinks of us constantly, and
of the life we shared in days when for her
you were a splendid goddess,
and your singing gave her deep joy.
Now she shines among Lydian women as
when the red-fingered moon
rises after sunset, erasing
stars around her, and pouring light equally
across the salt sea
and over densely flowered fields;
and lucent dew spreads on the earth to quicken
roses and fragile thyme
and the sweet-blooming honey-lotus.
Now while our darling wanders she thinks of
lovely Atthis's love,
and longing sinks deep in her breast.
She cries loudly for us to come! We hear,
for the night's many tongues
carry her cry across the sea.
as a whirlwind
swoops on an oak
Love shakes my heart
I have not had one word from her
Frankly I wish I were dead
When she left she wept
a great deal; she said to me This parting must be
endured, Sappho. I go unwillingly.
I said Go, and be happy
but remember (you know
well) whom you leave shackled by love
If you forget me think
of our gifts to Aphrodite
and all the loveliness that we shared
all the violet tiaras,
braided rosebuds, dill and
crocus twined around your young neck
myrrh poured on your head
and on soft mats girls with
all that they most wished for beside them
while no voices chanted
choruses without ours,
no woodlot bloomed in spring without song...
--Translated by Mary Barnard
On the throne of many hues Immortal Aphrodite
child of Zeus weaving wiles--I beg you
not to subdue my spirit Queen
with pain or sorrow
but come--if ever before
having heard my voice from far away
you listened and leaving your father's
golden home you came
in your chariot yoked with swift lovely
sparrows bringing you over the dark earth
thick-feathered wings swirling down
from the sky through mid-air
arriving quickly--you Blessed One
with a smile on your unaging face
asking again what have I suffered
and why am I calling again
and in my wild heart what did I most wish
to happen to me: "Again whom must I persuade
back into the harness of your love?
Sappho who wrongs you?
For if she flees soon she'll pursue
she doesn't accept gifts but she'll give
if not now loving soon she'll love
even against her will."
Come to me now again release me from
this pain everything my spirit longs
to have fulfilled fulfill and you
be my ally
--Translated by Diane Rayor
Come back to me Gongyla here tonight
You my rose with your Lydian lyre.
There hovers forever around you delight:
A beauty desired.
Even your garment plunders my eyes.
I am enchanted: I who once
Complained to the Cyprus-born goddess
Whom I now beseech
Never to let this lose me grace
But rather bring you back to me:
Amongst all mortal women the one
I most wish to see.
--Translated by Paul Roche
Some an army of horsemen some an army on foot
and some say a fleet of ships is the loveliest sight
on this dark earth; but I say it is what-
ever you desire:
and it it possible to make this perfectly clear
to all; for the woman who far surpassed all others
in her beauty Helen left her husband --
the best of all men --
behind and sailed far away to Troy; she did not spare
a single thought for her child nor for her dear parents
but [the goddess of love] led her astray
reminds me now of Anactoria
although far away
--Translated by Josephine Balmer
That country girl has witched your wishes
all dressed up in her country clothes
and she hasn't got the sense
to hitch her rags above her ankles.
--Translated by Jim Powell