Skip to comments.Scholars Discover New Poems From Ancient Greek Poetess Sappho
Posted on 01/31/2014 11:47:24 AM PST by OddLane
Only a few poems of the Greek poetess Sapphos work have survived but thanks to a leading scholars investigation two new works have just been recoveredand gives experts hope to find more.
A chance inquiry by an unidentified collector has led to a spectacular literary discovery: Parts of two previously unknown poems by Sappho, the great Greek poetess of the 7th Century B.C. One of the poems is remarkably well preserved and adds greatly to what is known about Sappho and her poetic technique.
The two poems came to light when the owner of an ancient papyrus, dating to the 3rd century A.D., consulted an Oxford classicist, Dirk Obbink, about the Greek writing on the tattered scrap. Dr. Obbink, a MacArthur fellow and world-renowned papyrologist, quickly realized the importance of what the papyrus contained and asked its owner for permission to publish it. His article, which includes a transcription of the fragmentary poems, will appear in a scholarly journal this spring, but an on-line version has already been released.
(Excerpt) Read more at thedailybeast.com ...
The poem’s rhythmic structure and arcane cultural referents may make it difficult for modern readers fully to access the subtlety of metaphor and rhyme that it contains, but for those willing to try, here is a translation:
“I kissed a girl and I liked it, the taste of her cherry chapstick
I kissed a girl just to try it, I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong, it felt so right, don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it, I liked it
No, I don’t even know your name, it doesn’t matter
You’re my experimental game, just human nature
It’s not what good girls do, not how they should behave
My head gets so confused, hard to obey.”
Good one. Ya got me.
Was it the cherry chapstick that let you catch on. Everyone knows only Attic Greeks used cherry. Aeolic preferred lime.
For those who can read Aeolic/Lesbic, the text and translation of one of these poems can be fount at:
My Aeolic vocabulary is a little rusty, but poem #58 seems like quite a fine one to me, and very complete compared to many Sappho fragments from papyri.
No. I read babble-on's intro with interest...but when I got to "I kissed a girl" I had one of those "D'oh!" moments. Yup. Saw it right off.
Oh,The Ode to Oprah!
So the womens could have some time away from the menfolk?
The Greeks thought that women were generally untrustworthy and hormone driven and had a tendancty to drag men off the street work their whiles on them thus endangering the Dowery.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I like chasing women
How about you?
(signed) Sappho, September, 580 BC
Oddly enough, red lipstick was used by ancient prostitutes to advertise the availability of oral sex, and ironically, the isle of Lesbos was a hotbed of that practice, to the extent that any fellatrix was termed “Lesbian”. Then Sappho wandered in and wrecked the whole darned thing.
That draft PDF isn’t online now, at the original source, but exists on the wayback machine; there’s no translation in the paper.
Here’s a translation of one of the fragments:
sidebar linked there:
And as a sidebar, Louis Alma-Tadema (pr. TADema) image search:
You forgot the chorus to this song:
Justly named - Babble on
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