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SIX FRAGMENTS FOR ATTHIS

By

Sappho


 



NOTE: Sappho, a Greek poet, was born on the island of Lesbos  in 7th Century B.C.  It has been alleged that she died around 570 B.C. by jumping off the Leucadian cliffs on the Greek island of Leucas (now Lefkada) in the Ionian Sea.   The last two lines of this poem is so true, since her poetry is still read more than 2,500 years after her death.

&/\&/\&

I loved you, Atthis, years ago,

When my youth was still all flowers

And sighs, and you --- you seemed to me

Such a small ungainly girl.

Can you forget what happened before?

If so, then Ill remind you how, while lying

Beside me, you wove a garland of crocuses

Which I then braded into strands of your hair.

And once when youd plaited a double necklace

From a hundred blooms, I tied it around

The swanning, sun-licked ring of your neck.

And on more than one occasion --- there were two

Of them, to be exact --- while I looked on too

Silent with adoration to say your name,

You glazed your breast and arms with oil.

No holy place existed without us then,

No woodland, no dance, no sound.

Beyond all hope, I prayed those timeless

Days we spent might be made twice as long.

I prayed one word; I want.

Someone, I tell you, will remember us,

Even in another time.
 

&/\&/\&

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