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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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Written by Sappho | Create an image from this poem

To Atthis

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.
Written by Sappho | Create an image from this poem

Without Warning

Without warning 
as a whirlwind 
swoops on an oak 
Love shakes my heart
Written by Sappho | Create an image from this poem

I have not had one word from her

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 
Written by Sappho | Create an image from this poem

On the throne of many hues Immortal Aphrodite

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 
Written by Sappho | Create an image from this poem

Please

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 
Written by Sappho | Create an image from this poem

Some an army of horsemen some an army on foot

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
[to desire...] 

[...which]
reminds me now of Anactoria
although far away  

--Translated by Josephine Balmer 
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To Andromeda

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