02 April 2007


In the grey olive-grove a small brown bird
Had built her nest and waited for the spring.
But who could tell the happy thought that came.
To lodge beneath my scarlet tunic's fold?

All day long now is the green earth renewed
With the bright sea-wind and the yellow blossoms.
From the cool shade I hear the silver plash.
Of the blown fountain at the garden's end.

Sappho, XV (trans. Bliss Carman)

This is the old fashioned way to render Sappho's work. More recent translations are far less amorphous in tone.

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