Poems

No Word

I have had not one word from her

Frankly I wish I were dead.
When she left, she wept

a great deal; she said to
me, ``This parting must be
endured, Sappho. I go unwillingly.''

I said, ``Go, and be happy
but remember (you know
well) whom you leave shackled by love

``If you forget me, think
of our gifts to Aphrodite
and all the loveliness that we shared

``all the violet tiaras,
braided rosebuds, dill and
crocus twined around your young neck

``myrrh poured on your head
and on soft mats girls with
all that they most wished for beside them

``while no voices chanted
choruses without ours,
no woodlot bloomed in spring without song...''

Sappho
tr. Barnard



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