Sappho’s Beloved

Doctoral student Harriet Lander introduces a case-study from her work on the history of translations of Sappho.   Solon, according to Aelian, asked his nephew to teach him one of Sappho’s poems, ‘So that I may learn it and then die’. This desire to know and understand Sappho’s lyrics has been a pervasive attitude from antiquity …

Happy Classical National Poetry Day!

In great haste… I spotted this morning, while procrastinating, that today is National Poetry Day! This clearly needed to be marked, and I’m just back from some rapid poetry-bombing of the Humanities Building. I felt that what was needed was some poetry in English (I wanted it to speak too everybody in the building) that …

Beginnings and Endings (77)

And another thing… A few weeks ago I posted about beginnings and endings in ancient literature, and called the post ‘Beginnings and endings (1)’. So I must go on… Sometimes the question ‘how can an ancient poem end?’ matters. One striking ending in a modern poem is Keats’ sonnet ‘On first looking into Chapman’s Homer’; …

New Sappho: not for Valentine’s Day!

So: new Sappho! Actually, there are two new Sappho papyri coming up; the one we know about has two fragments, but the most comprehensible is the one which its editor, Dirk Obbink, has called the ‘Brothers poem’, and that’s what I’ll talk about here. The best place to read about it, to see a (tidied …