24 May 2007

Aoidoi: Sappho 16

New for Aoidoi.org, Sappho's fragment 16:

οἰ μὲν ἰππήων στρότον, οἰ δὲ πέσδων
οἰ δὲ νάων φαῖσ' ἐπὶ γᾶν μέλαιναν
ἔμμεναι κάλλιστον· ἔγω δὲ κῆν' ὄττω τις ἔραται.

Some say it's an army of cavalry, others the infantry,
and others the navy, that's the most beautiful thing on
the black earth. But I say it's that which one loves.

That's only the opening of the poem. It also got a recitation in Greek and English in the recent In Our Time episode, "Greek and Roman Love Poetry" (RA of podcast).


Elizabeth said...

It also provides an excellent opportunity to compare Sappho and Metallica to undergraduates. Verse 4 of "Whiskey in the jar":

Now some men like the fishing
And some men like the fowling
Some men like to hear
To hear the canonball roaring
But me, I like sleeping,
'specially in Molly's chamber...

Wm said...

You never know where priamel will strike!

If Metallica is Sapphic, I wonder who is most Pindaric. I supposed it'd have to be a prog-rock band.

Elizabeth said...

Rush comes to mind..

Tarik said...

In the spirit of elizabeth, I can't share this poem with my Greek students without singing from "Whiskey in the Jar":

Some men take delight in the carriages a-rolling
Others take delight in the hurling and the bowling
But I take delight in the juice of the barley
And in courting pretty fair maids in the morning bright and early...