Translated, with an Introduction and Notes, by Aaron Poochigian
Available August 2009 in the UK and October 2009 in the US
"In these wonderful new translations by Aaron Poochigian we hear the voice of a great and enduring poet in our ear again."
— Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate of the UK
'Girls, chase the violet-bosomed Muses’ bright
Gifts and the plangent lyre, lover of hymns'
By turns subversive, erotic and poignant, Sappho is one of the most versatile and exquisite poets in Classical literature. Invoking female deities, Sappho summons the Muses for inspiration and beseeches Aphrodite's allegiance in a battle of the heart, while episodes from the Trojan War are told from a woman's perspective as Helen makes her fateful choice between family and love, and Andromache arrives in Troy to marry Hector. Here, too, Sappho sings of the lives of mortals, as a lover describes the torments of unrequited lust, a mother speaks tenderly to her daughter, and young brides leave their homes to meet their new husbands. Ranging from Homeric narratives to depictions of intense personal experience, the songs of Sappho are elegant, subtle evocations of love and passion.
Aaron Poochigian's translations preserve the lyric music of Sappho's songs. In his introduction he discusses the theories surrounding Sappho's life and love affairs, and the enduring influence of her works. This edition also includes a chronology, further reading and commentaries accompanying each poem.