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The Poetry of Sappho


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Table of Contents

Translator's Note The Poetry of Sappho Sappho of Lesbos The Text of Sappho's Poems Abbreviations & Bibliography Textual Notes

About the Author

A MacArthur Fellow who has taught at Reed College, the University of Chicago, and the University of California, Berkeley, Jim Powell is the author of two poetry collections, It Was Fever that Made the World and Substrate.


The Sapphic impression of emotion poured out in unpremeditated speech is the product of sophisticated art. Such poetry confronts the translator with a formidable challenge.... Jim Powell is fully aware of the dangers, and speaks of the 'fluidity, ease, grace, and melodic variety' of Sappho's measures. Powell has tried to reproduce the effect. The resulting book is a brilliant success. Powell has shored her fragments against [Sappho's] ruins to give us a garland in which the flowers, though tattered, have not faded. * Bernard Knox, The New Republic *
Graceful, fluent, lucid while respectful of mystery: Jim Powells unsurpassed embodiment of Sappho in English has all the conviction of art. * Robert Pinsky *

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