Pandora’s stories: Sappho

I’m not sure which of the many stories about Sappho to believe, but whatever the truth she is my favourite poet. Remember how Alcaeus described her: “Violet-haired, pure, honey-smiling Sappho” (Alcaeus fragment 384)

How fresh her poetry is:

Some say horsemen, some say warriors,
Some say a fleet of ships is the loveliest
Vision in this dark world, but I say it’s
What you love.

It’s easy to make this clear to everyone,
Since Helen, she who outshone
All others in beauty, left
A fine husband,

And headed for Troy
Without a thought for
Her daughter, her dear parents…
Led astray….

And I recall Anaktoria, whose sweet step
Or that flicker of light on her face,
I’d rather see than Lydian chariots
Or the armed ranks of the hoplites.

Pandora

Pandora

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