Sappho fragment 2: How can I compete with that damned man
Sappho fragment #2
translation by Michael R. Burch
How can I compete with that damned man
who fancies himself one of the gods,
impressing you with his "eloquence,"
when just the thought of sitting in your radiant presence,
of hearing your lovely voice and lively laughter,
sets my heart hammering at my breast?
Hell, when I catch just a quick glimpse of you,
I'm left speechless, tongue-tied,
and immediately a blush like a delicate flame reddens my skin.
Then my vision dims with tears,
my ears ring,
I sweat profusely,
and every muscle in my body trembles.
When the blood finally settles,
I grow paler than summer grass,
till in my exhausted madness,
I'm as limp as the dead.
And yet I must risk all, being bereft without you ...
Sappho of Lesbos was so highly regarded by her peers that she was called The Tenth Muse. That was high praise indeed, because the other nine Muses were goddesses! Sappho has given us our terms "sapphic" and "lesbian." And she wrote the first "make love, not war" poem more than 2,500 years ago! She was ahead of her time, and probably ours as well. Keywords/Tags: Sappho of Lesbos, Sapphic, Greek, translation, woman, women, girl, girls, girlfriends, love, lovers, lesbian, homosexual, passion, desire, longing, lust, sex, sexy, sensual, sensuous, relationship
Copyright © Michael Burch | Year Posted 2020
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