Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Can't Get Enough of Sappho - Represented in Art & Poetry

 Le Coucher de Sappho
Charles Gleyre

 In the Days of Sappho
John William Godward

Sappho 31:

φαίνεταί μοι κῆνος ἴσος θέοισιν
ἔμμεν' ὤνηρ, ὄττις ἐνάντιός τοι
ἰσδάνει καὶ πλάσιον ἆδυ φωνεί-
σας ὐπακούει

καὶ γελαίσας ἰμέροεν, τό μ' ἦ μὰν
καρδίαν ἐν στήθεσιν ἐπτόαισεν·
ὠς γὰρ ἔς σ' ἴδω βρόχε', ὤς με φώναί-
σ' οὐδ' ἒν ἔτ' εἴκει,

ἀλλά κὰμ μὲν γλῶσσα †ἔαγε†, λέπτον
δ' αὔτικα χρῷ πῦρ ὐπαδεδρόμηκεν,
ὀππάτεσσι δ' οὐδ' ἒν ὄρημμ', ἐπιρρόμ-
βεισι δ' ἄκουαι,

κὰδ' δέ ἴδρως κακχέεται, τρόμος δὲ
παῖσαν ἄγρει, χλωροτέρα δὲ ποίας
ἔμμι, τεθνάκην δ' ὀλίγω 'πιδεύης
φαίνομ' ἔμ' αὔτᾳ.

ἀλλὰ πὰν τόλματον, ἐπεὶ †καὶ πένητα†...

He appears to me, that one, equal to the gods,
the man who, facing you,
is seated and, up close, that sweet voice of yours
he listens to

And how you laugh your charming laugh. Why it
makes my heart flutter within my breast,
because the moment I look at you, right then, for me,
to make any sound at all won’t work any more.

My tongue has a breakdown and a delicate
— all of a sudden — fire rushes under my skin.
With my eyes I see not a thing, and there is a roar
that my ears make.

Sweat pours down me and a trembling
seizes all of me; paler than grass
am I, and a little short of death
do I appear to me.
But all may be ventured, since even [the poor]...

Sappho
Justin Wiest

Sappho and Phaon
Pierre-Claude-Francois Delorme

Catullus 51:

Ille mi par esse deo videtur,
ille, si fas est, superare divos,
qui sedens adversus identidem te
spectat et audit
dulce ridentem, misero quod omnes
eripit sensus mihi: nam simul te,
Lesbia, aspexi, nihil est super mi
<vocis in ore;>
lingua sed torpet, tenuis sub artus
flamma demanat, sonitu suopte
tintinant aures, gemina teguntur
lumina nocte.
otium, Catulle, tibi molestum est:
otio exsultas nimiumque gestis:
otium et reges prius et beatas
perdidit urbes.

He seems to me to be equal to a god,
he, if it is permissible, seems to surpass the gods,
who sitting opposite watches and listens
To you again and again
sweetly laughing, which rips out all senses
from miserable me: for at the same moment I looked upon you,
Lesbia, nothing is enough for me.
* * * *
But the tongue grows thick, a thin flame
Runs down beneath our limbs, with their own sound
our ears ring, our twin lights (eyes)
are covered by night.
Idleness is a troublesome thing for you, Catullus:
In idleness you revel and delight too much:
Idleness has destroyed both kings and
Blessed cities before.

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