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The Love Songs of Sappho (Literary Classics) Paperback – January 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Literary Classics
  • Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157392251X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573922517
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,993,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek

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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Skowronski on April 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Sappho was the greatest lyric poet of Greece, and any modern reader of her poetry can easily see why. Although she admittedly suffers in translation, one must learn to ignore the frustration caused by the occasional awkward translation. One must also try to ignore the fragmentary nature of her poems. There was once a definitive edition which consisted of nine books, but it was burned in hte Middle Ages because of the lesbian love poems. The poems we have now are just papyrus fragments or quotations. However, even in English, even with only a few extant pieces, Sappho's poetry is vibrant and beautiful.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Caleb Boyd on January 31, 2003
Format: Paperback
The fragments themselves are quite beautiful, but I found the commentary much more interesting. Since so little is known about the subject, the translator provides notes along with each fragment that lets the reader know from where the fragment came. The commentary also includes citations from many writers of Greek lyric poetry. The result is not a work that gives one man's perspective of Sappho but a work that says: "here -- this is what scholars today say about Sappho and her native Greece." The book also includes an interesting essay by the translator, cute sketches, and a glossary of people and places.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William Timothy Lukeman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 19, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's frustrating & infuriating to realize that most of Sappho's work is lost to the ages, burned by the small-minded & intolerant. Yet what little remains is stunning in its directness, its clarity, and its celebration of both the joys & pain of love. Reading these poems is like sifting through a handful of glittering golden fragments, each one hinting at the full beauty of what's been lost. Even so, the splinters of a single line are often more intense & moving than the complete poems of others. And in a way, the fragments invite the reader into the act of creation, making us struggle to glimpse the rest of the poem.

This is a fine edition, with informative but never pedantic notes, and a basic introduction to the poet & her world. The material on translation will make the reader appreciate just how difficult a task it can be, and just how much artistry the translator must bring to the work. Most highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By hellotessa on February 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have three different books relating to Sappho's poetry, and this is one of my favorite translations as compared to Sappho: A New Translation and If Not, Winter
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