Sappho: A New Translation of the Complete Works

Sappho: A New Translation of the Complete Works
Cambridge University Press
United Kingdom
2 February 2023

Sappho: A New Translation of the Complete Works

Sappho, the earliest and most famous Greek woman poet, sang her songs around 600 BCE on the island of Lesbos. Of what survives from the approximately nine papyrus scrolls collected in antiquity, all is translated here: substantial poems and fragments, including three poems discovered in the last two decades. The power of Sappho’s poetry - her direct style, rich imagery, and passion - is apparent even in these remnants. Diane Rayor’s translations of Greek poetry are graceful, modern in diction yet faithful to the originals. Sappho’s voice is heard in these poems about love, friendship, rivalry, and family. In the introduction and notes, Andre Lardinois plausibly reconstructs Sappho’s life and work, the performance of her songs, and how these fragments survived. This second edition incorporates thirty-two more fragments primarily based on Camillo Neri’s 2021 Greek edition and revisions of over seventy fragments.

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