Freitag, Juni 02, 2006

SAPPHO


SAPPHO, the one great woman poet of the world, who called herself Psappha in her own Aeolic dialect, is said to have been at the zenith of her fame about the year 610 B.C.

During her lifetime Jeremiah first began to prophesy (628 B.C.), Daniel was carried away to Babylon (606 B.C.), Nebuchadnezzar besieged and captured Jerusalem (587 B.C.), Solon was legislating at Athens, and Tarquinius Priscus, the fifth king, is said to have been reigning over Rome. She lived before the birth of Gautama, the (founder of Buddhism, the religion now professed by perhaps almost a third of the whole population of the globe.

That she was a native of Lesbos, an island in the Aegean sea, is universally admitted; and all but those writers who speak of a second Sappho say she lived at Mitylene, the chief city of the island. The existence of a Sappho who was a courtesan of Ersus, a smaller Lesbian city, besides the poetess of Mitylene, is the invention of comparatively late authors; and it is probably due to their desire to detach the calumnies, which the Comic poets so long made popular, from the personality of the poetess to whose good name her own contemporaries bore witness.

HERE IS ONE OF SAPPHO'S FRAGMENTS:


The stars about the lovely moon
Fade back and vanish very soon,
When, round and full, her silver face
Swims into sight, and lights all space.


(Translated by J. A. Symonds, 1883)

10 Comments:

Blogger Prmod Bafna said...

A very neat and informative post on sappho this! Its good to be visiting your blog castor :) there's so much of relevant information which you always dig up and present so nicely.. leaves one in awe of the knowledge you possess!

3:24 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Prmod Bafna:
---------------
:-)A long time ago I studied Philosophy/ Germanistic/ Slavistic and so I've got also an extensive knowledge in general about literature. I like to share it with interested persons like you, for example :-)...

Art is a REALLY global treasure and artists are my family, that's it! :-)

Love and peace,

Castor

7:26 nachm.  
Blogger Ryan said...

uncle just stopping by to say hi.

12:12 vorm.  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

I am familiar with Sappho's poetry. It is intoxicating.

Also, I noticed you are a visual stimulist, which accounts for your love of Fellini as well.

Thank you for your comments on the blog...For me, these F holes from Man Ray's photograph of Kiki represent the violin rather than the cello...

3:21 vorm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Ryan:
--------
Hi Ryan, I missed you already on my blog! Great that Mikey will go to see you in a few days!

Uncle Castor

10:04 vorm.  
Blogger castor said...

t BarbarafromCalifornia:
-----------------------
Yes, I love Fellini, I've seen almost all his films :-)
You are right, Man Ray himself called this photo "Il violin de Ingres", but when I've seen this picture the first time I had to think of a lovepoem by Erich Kästner, which begins with the words: "Come like a cello between my knees ...." :-)That's it :-)

10:23 vorm.  
Blogger Trudging said...

You are always so educational

1:43 vorm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Trudging:
------------
I hope you like it !?

7:26 vorm.  
Blogger Sandouri Dean Bey said...

hans-
ich liebe sappho. familie mein mutter kam vom lesbos.

Έρος δ' ετίναξέ μοί φρένας ώς άνεμος κατ’όρος δρύσιν εμπέτων.

Lust shakes me up like a mountain wind falling on the oaks.

sinneslust rüttelt mich wie ein gebirgswind, der auf die eichen fällt

-Sappho
-Sappho

7:16 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Sandouri Dean:
-----------------
I thought that you would love her, Dean!
Marvellous which poetic power is only in this phrase : "Lust shakes me up like a mountain wind falling on the oaks."

11:32 nachm.  

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