Literature Sappho: A New Rendering

Sappho: A New Rendering

Sappho: A New Rendering
Catalog # SKU3963
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name H. De Vere Stacpoole
ISBN 10: 0000000000
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A New Rendering

The Hymn To Aphrodite
and Fifty-Two Fragments,
Together With Sappho To Phaon,
Ovid's Heroic Epistle Xv

H. De Vere Stacpoole

There is not a fragment of Sappho that is not surrounded in the mind of the reader by the rainbow of suggestion.



Sappho lies remote from us, beyond the fashions and the ages, beyond sight, almost beyond the wing of Thought, in the world's extremest youth.

To thrill the imagination with the vast measure of time between the world of Sappho and the world of the Great War, it is quite useless to express it in years, one must express it in aeons, just as astronomers, dealing with sidereal distances, think, not in miles, but in light years. Between us and Sappho lie the Roman Empire and the age of Christ, and beyond the cross the age of Athenian culture, culminating in the white flower of the Acropolis.

Had she travelled she might have visited Nineveh before its destruction by Cyaxares, or watched the Phoenicians set sail on their African voyage at the command of Nechos. She might have spoken with Draco and Jeremiah the Prophet and the father of Gautama the founder of Buddhism. For her the Historical Past, which is the background of all thought, held little but echoes, voices, and the forms of gods, and the immediate present little but Lesbos and the AEgean Sea, whose waters had been broken by the first trireme only a hundred and fifty years before her birth.

Men call her the greatest lyric poet that the world has known, basing their judgment on the few perfect fragments that remain of her song. But her voice is more than the voice of a lyric poet, it is the voice of a world that has been, of a freshness and beauty that will never be again, and to give that voice a last touch of charm remains the fact that it comes to us as an echo.

For of Sappho's poetry not a single vestige remains that does not come to us reflected in the form of a quotation from the works of some admirer, some one captured by her beauty or her wisdom or the splendour of her verse, or some one, like Herodian or Apollonius the sophist of Alexandria, who takes it to exhibit the aeolic use of words or accentuation, or Hephaestion, to give an example of her choriambic tetrameters.

40 pages - 5½ x 8½ softcover

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