I've decided to concoct a few more of these. For the time being, I think, I'll stick with some suitably medievalised Sappho. To that end, here is a version of her famous long-ish fragment generally known as '31': ' ... also known as phainetai moi (φαίνεταί μοι) after the opening words of its first line, or Lobel-Page 31, Voigt 31, Gallavotti 2, Diehl 2, Bergk 2, after the location of the poem in various editions containing the collected works of Sappho. ... Sappho 31 was one of the two substantially complete poems by Sappho to survive from ancient times, written in Sappho's vernacular form of Greek, the Lesbian-Aeolic dialect. More fragments have been found in recent years, particularly in the Oxyrhynchus papyri.' Thank you, Wikipedia. The other 'substantially complete poem' is this one.
Meseemeth him of goddes lykenness
That man beforen thu
Who sitting close and speking sweetenness
He listneth to;
And thine the laughter that beguyles my breest
Thrusting my hart aflyte
For at the very moment thee I seest
Myself am quiet
My tonge it seiseth fast, and in fyn ore
Heat reds aflame my skin,
Mine eyen blinded and a drowning rore
Mine earres in:
Peerspiring wet I shuddre with the fors
In color country greene,
Close ene to dying I have run my corse
So I am seene
Swich al in venture, peyne of being poor
Here’s the ‘literal’ (line by line) translation Wikipedia attributes (without fuller reference) to Gregory Nagy:
He appears to me, that one, equal to the gods,And here’s the Greek:
the man who, facing you,
is seated and, up close, that sweet voice of yours
he listens to
And how you laugh your charming laugh. Why it
makes my heart flutter within my breast,
because the moment I look at you, right then, for me,
to make any sound at all won’t work any more.
My tongue has a breakdown and a delicate
— all of a sudden — fire rushes under my skin.
With my eyes I see not a thing, and there is a roar
that my ears make.
Sweat pours down me and a trembling
seizes all of me; paler than grass
am I, and a little short of death
do I appear to me.
But all may be ventured, since even [the poor]...
φαίνεταί μοι κῆνος ἴσος θέοισιν
ἔμμεν' ὤνηρ, ὄττις ἐνάντιός τοι
ἰσδάνει καὶ πλάσιον ἆδυ φωνεί-
καὶ γελαίσας ἰμέροεν, τό μ' ἦ μὰν
καρδίαν ἐν στήθεσιν ἐπτόαισεν·
ὠς γὰρ ἔς σ' ἴδω βρόχε', ὤς με φώναί-
σ' οὐδ' ἒν ἔτ' εἴκει,
ἀλλά κὰμ μὲν γλῶσσα †ἔαγε†, λέπτον
δ' αὔτικα χρῷ πῦρ ὐπαδεδρόμηκεν,
ὀππάτεσσι δ' οὐδ' ἒν ὄρημμ', ἐπιρρόμ-
βεισι δ' ἄκουαι,
κὰδ' δέ ἴδρως κακχέεται, τρόμος δὲ
παῖσαν ἄγρει, χλωροτέρα δὲ ποίας
ἔμμι, τεθνάκην δ' ὀλίγω 'πιδεύης
φαίνομ' ἔμ' αὔτᾳ.
ἀλλὰ πὰν τόλματον, ἐπεὶ †καὶ πένητα†...
If you fancy stepping briskly from the ridiculous to the sublime, you could check out Anne Carson's beautiful version of this poem: http://gammasandgerunds.tumblr.com/post/20653659813/sappho-fr-31ReplyDelete
cool - but rather wish you'd used Anne Carson's translation instead http://gammasandgerunds.tumblr.com/post/20653659813/sappho-fr-31ReplyDelete
gotta love those tongue breaks.
whoops, sorry. beat me to it. very much enjoying this series, by the way. thanks!ReplyDelete