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Scholars Discover New Poems From Ancient Greek Poetess Sappho
The Daily Beast ^ | January 31, 2014 | James Romm

Posted on 01/31/2014 11:47:24 AM PST by OddLane

Only a few poems of the Greek poetess Sappho’s work have survived but thanks to a leading scholar’s investigation two new works have just been recovered—and 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 ...


TOPICS: Books/Literature; History
KEYWORDS: epigraphyandlanguage; godsgravesglyphs; greece; papyrus; sappho

1 posted on 01/31/2014 11:47:25 AM PST by OddLane
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To: OddLane

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.”


2 posted on 01/31/2014 11:53:47 AM PST by babble-on
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To: babble-on

Good one. Ya got me.


3 posted on 01/31/2014 12:00:10 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts ("The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Was it the cherry chapstick that let you catch on. Everyone knows only Attic Greeks used cherry. Aeolic preferred lime.


4 posted on 01/31/2014 12:09:14 PM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (In the long run, we are all dead.)
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To: OddLane

For those who can read Aeolic/Lesbic, the text and translation of one of these poems can be fount at:

http://community.middlebury.edu/~harris/sappho.new.html


5 posted on 01/31/2014 12:13:37 PM PST by proxy_user
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To: OddLane; babble-on; Bloody Sam Roberts; Lonesome in Massachussets

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.


6 posted on 01/31/2014 12:23:54 PM PST by proxy_user
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
Was it the cherry chapstick that let you catch on?

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.

7 posted on 01/31/2014 12:36:35 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts ("The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
I have often wondered why the Greeks invented purdah.
8 posted on 01/31/2014 1:00:20 PM PST by Little Bill
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To: babble-on

Oh,The Ode to Oprah!


9 posted on 01/31/2014 2:09:01 PM PST by Dr. Ursus
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To: Little Bill

So the womens could have some time away from the menfolk?


10 posted on 01/31/2014 2:10:24 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts ("The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

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.


11 posted on 01/31/2014 2:20:41 PM PST by Little Bill
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To: babble-on
Yeah, it is tough to capture the original Greek cadence. Here's another one:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
I like chasing women
How about you?

(signed) Sappho, September, 580 BC

12 posted on 01/31/2014 2:29:58 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

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.


13 posted on 01/31/2014 5:09:22 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...
Thanks Oddlane. Two New Poems of Sappho.

14 posted on 01/31/2014 5:11:28 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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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:

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jan/30/read-sappho-new-unknown-poem-papyrus-classical

sidebar linked there:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/29/sappho-ancient-greek-poet-unknown-works-discovered

And as a sidebar, Louis Alma-Tadema (pr. TADema) image search:

https://www.google.com/search?q=sappho+alma-tadema&tbm=isch


15 posted on 01/31/2014 5:32:28 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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Other fragments of Sappho
16 posted on 01/31/2014 5:32:41 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: babble-on

You forgot the chorus to this song:

Hillary 2016!
Hillary 2016!
Hillary 2016!


17 posted on 01/31/2014 6:16:46 PM PST by LostInBayport (When there are more people riding in the cart than there are pulling it, the cart stops moving...)
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To: SunkenCiv

BTTT!


18 posted on 02/01/2014 12:47:12 AM PST by OddLane
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To: SunkenCiv

Awesome.


19 posted on 02/01/2014 3:48:06 AM PST by arderkrag (An Unreconstructed Georgian, STANDING WITH RAND.)
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To: babble-on

Justly named - Babble on


20 posted on 02/01/2014 11:17:58 AM PST by eleni121 ("All Along the Watchtower" Book of Isaiah, Chapter 21, verses 5-9)
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To: babble-on

Did Bob Guccione write that?


21 posted on 02/03/2014 2:55:57 PM PST by colorado tanker
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