Why 100?

Last year I set out to read 100 books, but I ran out of time and only read 75. So this year, I will read one hundred books. And you're my witness :) The only thing stopping me this year is 9 seasons' worth of Seinfeld episodes- wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

60. the love songs of sappho

i am too antsy to read or even to sit in this damn chair right now.  frankly, i'm not sure how i'm doing it.  all i know is that class is going to be hell at four.  3 hour class and i'm like this right now?  no way.  i may have to go run around in the halls while i pretend to be getting a drink of water.  i don't care.  at this point i really don't.  reading groups to edit papers?  nah who cares?  district curriculum units to create?  no thank you.  sit in the chair and listen to people who annoy me?  i'll pass.  but i can't because i have to because i can't completely fail these classes.  that would be a dishonor to my so far pristine history with the college of education (ha!).  anyway, i'm just fucking around.  i am really damn antsy and like my head feels like its full of gunk right now.  so i'll write out some of my favorites of sappho's mini poems and leave you on that note for today. 
The Love Songs of Sappho, translated by Paul Roche
 (from 45)
Here where the waters trickle coolly
Through the apply boughs, and ground is shady
with roses, down from the leaves that shiver
         Sleep drops slowly.

At Last
you have come
and you did well to come
I pined for you.
and n ow you have put a torch to my heart
a flare of love-
o bless you and bless you and bless you:
you are back...
we were parted

open your arms
Pretty One, I'm yours again:
far too long apart

the black trance of night
flooded their eyes

I Saw Love
come down from heaven
and fling off his purple cloak
keep your honey-bee
and keep your honey

no, children, do not delude me.
You mock the good gifts of the Muses
When you say: "Dear Sappho we'll crown you,
Resonant player,
First on the clear sweet lyre..."
Do you not see how I alter:
My skin with its aging,
My black hair gone white,
My legs scarcely carrying
Me, who went dancing
More neatly than fawns once
(neatest of creatures)?
No, no one can cure it; keep beauty from going,
And I cannot help it.
God himself cannot do what cannot be done.
So age follows after and catches
Everything living.
Even rosy-armed Eos, the Dawn,
who ushers in morning to the ends of the earth,
Could not save from the grasp of old age
Her lover immortal Tithonus.
And I too, I know, must waste away.
Yet for me - listen well-
My delight is the exquisite.
Yes, for me,
Glitter and sunlight and love
Are one society.
So I shall not go creeping away
To die in the dark:
I shall go on living with you,
Loving and loved.

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