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A newly-rediscovered poem by Sappho - Persephone Yavanna the Entwife

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June 27th, 2005


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01:24 pm - A newly-rediscovered poem by Sappho

You for the fragrant-bosomed Muses' lovely gifts,
Be zealous, girls, and the clear melodious lyre:
But my once tender body old age now
Has seized; my hair's turned white instead of dark.
My heart’s grown heavy, my knees will not support me,
That once on a time were fleet for the dance as fawns.
This state I oft bemoan; but what’s to do?
Not to grow old, being human, there’s no way.
Tithonus once, the tale was, rose-armed Dawn,
Love-smitten, carried off to the world’s end,
Handsome and young then, yet in time grey age
O’ertook him, husband of immortal wife.

(trans. Martin West)

Courtesy of an Egyptian mummy and some astute researchers from Köln . . .

A moving meditation on aging, using the example of one who was careless in what was asked for.


grasshopper

Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
Current Music: "About a Girl" by Nirvana
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(Eat a pomegranate)


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