Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Violet-haired, pure, honey-smiling Sappho

Violet-haired, pure, honey-smiling Sappho may or may not have written this newly found poem. Apparently the scholars think she did. Of course, this is nothing more than educated guess work. I think it could have easily been someone who wanted to write in her style. I guess we will never know. Kharaxos being her older brother, Larichos her younger. The title is a description of Psappho written by Alkaios, an alleged lover of hers. This unsatisfying translation is mine.

While women chatter, Kharaxos is comeing,
His boat is full! Of these outcomes only Zeus
And the other gods know. You do not have
To think such things.

Escort me, persuade me to offer
Many pleadings for radiant Queen Hera
For the return home of Kharaxos.
She guides his ship.

You will find us well. But for the rest?
Let us leave all that to the gods;
For fair weather after a fierce storm
Quickly appears.

If the king of Olympus decrees,
A helper will, in times of distress,
Turn the course. To these people blessings
And wealth will flow.

And us? Well if he would raise his head,
Larichos, and become at last a man,
The many heavy chains on my heart would
Once fall away.