- Series: Hackett Classics
- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (March 15, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0872205916
- ISBN-13: 978-0872205918
- Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Poems and Fragments
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The four sections of this book [Introduction, Translator's Note, translations, Notes on Ancient Sources] work remarkably well together, presenting the fragments of Sappho according to 'the idea of the isolated message' (xvii). The dominant and characteristic interest shared by both Lombardo as translator and Gordon as introducer is their concerted effort to validate 'fragments as esthetic wholes' (xxvi). Lombardo's translations are pleasantly distinct from those of any other I am aware of both for their sonorous but straightforward rendering in modern spoken American English . . . [an edition] better both for its clear translations, and for the breadth and depth of the critical Introduction. Lombardo's strategy as translator is to convey not only the Greek by means of English, but also the experience of reading 'Sappho as a pure, received text' (xxvi) by means of direct, plain presentation of the poem . . . A unique and welcome contribution to the diversity of English translations available. --Travis Feldman, The Bryn Mawr Classical Review
I have long been an admirer of Stanley Lombardo's translations of Homer, and I was curious to see how he would adapt his fast-paced, lively style to Sappho. He has succeeded admirably. His translation of 73 poems of Sappho is clear, energetic, and close to the Greek. Pamela Gordon's Introduction gives a lucid and useful guide for the non-specialist to the last fifty years of scholarly debate on Sappho. This edition will be particularly useful for instructors of courses in translation seeking an introduction to Sappho for the Greekless student. It is also a pleasure to read. --Laurel Bowman, The Classical Bulletin
Gordon's Introduction is a clear summation of the poetic and scholarly aura surrounding the figure of Sappho and these literary fragments. . . . This essay, complete with selective bibliography at the end, could be assigned to undergraduates as a first introduction to both the poetry and the phenomenon of Sappho. . . . Lombardo's translations are lively and accessible; Sappho lives anew for the English reader. . . . Ideal for teaching at the undergraduate level. --Cashman Kerr Prince, New England Classical Journal
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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What people have always responded to - and despite anything else, what Sappho's reputation is built on - is the intensity of her emotional responses to others, whether in love, lust, jealousy, or admiration. Her primary subject is other people and the feelings they engender. Lombardo's translation masterfully captures this intensity in an accessible and clear style. This volume also includes introductory essays describing the treatment and discovery of Sappho's work, and an exploration of her sexuality, along with the sources of each poem and fragment presented.
All that's missing are footnotes or a glossary explaining the various names used - I recognized "Aphrodite," but not "Thyone," "Pierian," "Cypris," "Dorikha" - are these simply names of characters or people the poet is addressing, or do they have some cultural significance? It's easy enough to look them up, but having all of the information in one place would be convenient, not to mention having Prof. Lombardo's own explanation.
Since Lombardo's translation came out, new writings of Sappho have been discovered and published; undoubtedly more material will come to light in the future, however, until then this selection can serve as an outstanding introduction to this well-known and important poet.
First; The title of this book is "Sappho: Poems & Fragments" and author is Josephine Balmer, not by S.Lombardo. Second; "Editorial Reviews" is shown for the S.Lombardo's Sappho, not for the J.Balmer's Sappho. Third; Three customers reviews (except for mine), these are also for the Lombardo's Sappho. Fourth; In Product Details, "116 pages" is wrong for "117 pages".
When I think of it, it is very strange that there are no reviews from this book, in spite of it had issued in nearly thirty years ago.
I say my conclusion first, that, this book is the best poetry of Sappho into English. (except for the poetries which have an interpretative rendition, such as Bliss Carman's or John M O'Hara's Sappho).
The meaning of The Best is shown into the Concord with Feelings and with Thoughts between this translator and Sappho. Feelings mean the expression of musical-tone-fluency, and Thoughts mean their minds.
Josephine Balmer's every verses are more fluent with beautiful sounds than many other English translators' works. (e.g. by Davenport, Roche, Barnstone, Powell, Carson, or Stacpoole, Petersen, Way, Haines, Hill, Lattimore, and many more, but except Cox).
It is clear that her individuality will appear evidently when someone compares her poems with the others. Her poem #79 (in this book, "Leave Crete and come to me here, to this holy temple,....") will be good example for it.
This musical-tone-fluency is the most important factor for the translating Sappho's poems. (Euphony, for the oral essence). Josephine Balmer did it skillfully with Sappho's own mind=thoughts (which include clarity and strength of her style) through the construction of orderly English sentence which are filled with soft, simple, moving, and elegant words.
Her fluency is natural, never artificial nor affected, moreover, very sincere and moderate. She weaved the English poems without anastrophe which Sappho used.
She has written about the "problems to translation" in this book, and she has conquered their problems almost entirely.
It proves, she is one of the rarest poets.
Among the poems of which I have filed sixty-three different forms of Sappho's "Ode to Aphrodite" in English, Balmer's Aphrodite is exactly outstanding.
Addition: Josephine Balmer's first edition of Sappho was published in 1984 by Brilliance Books. Fortunately, this Balmer's Sappho has been reprinting by several publishers. In 1992, Bloodaxe Books has published its first revised edition. Revised places are as follows. A) Poems: #46, #78, #79. B) Others: 1) Author's commentary for translation. 2) Author's commentary for some poems are added (#79, #108, #109"). 3) Chapter IX was combined with old edition's chapter X. 4) All illustrations were deleted. 5) Select bibliography shows 29 books.
Lombardo presents each fragment on its own page, and presents them Thematically (in other words, not in order). He has used ALL of the long and shorter fragments.
In the Introduction he says that he did not want to use every single fragment because some of them are only one word and thus incomprehensible for poetic purposes (which I also agree)...so in total he presents over 90 of the fragments in the most beautiful and ravishing renditions I've ever seen!
These may be Lombardo's most beautiful translations he's done for Hackett Publishing!
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Finally I got to read/review some sapphic literature (sorry, but I've been looking forward to making that...Read more