Sappho’s “Divine Lyre”

I imagine the poet Sappho walking through the apple groves that she portrayed in her songs, seven centuries before our era. The altar smelled of smoking incense, the cool water between the truss, the rose bushes and the shade, the dull sleep that flows between the leaves. Everything that lives in the poem. I can almost feel the winds blowing “with the scent of honey” or love, “more beautiful than a troop rider.” Ancient Greece also remembers it. Plato called her “the tenth mouse”. Strabo, the geographer, speaks of her as “worthy of admiration.” Perhaps we are still impressed by an element that was revolutionary in her time: Safo is the first Western poet to draw passion in his verses. “Until then, poetry had not been a cry of the heart,” explains Clara Janés. None of the body. Time and its possibilities almost left the world without Sappho’s words. But in the remaining lines, poetry happens anyway. The sensory is lit.

Sappho composed intense love poems for women and men. His feeling springs from the senses: “The tongue becomes sluggish and a subtle / fire under the skin flows”, “Sweat overflows, everything invades me / a trembling, and I become paler / than grass. It is not missing – it seems to me – a lot to be dead. ‘ For her, it is a throbbing experience, her own: “I feel desire and I search with zeal”, “Eros has shaken my bowels / like a wind that blows down in the mountains / over the islets”.

The dazzling love poetry appears in only a few scattered excerpts. Sappho’s work is mostly lost. We are left with phrases in the wind, verses halved, words that in other times were the most acclaimed poems. Aurora Luque, in her translations of the Greek poet, quotes Carolina Coronado through an epigraph: “Perhaps the Sappho we know is a ghost, she is a cloud which in the revolutions of history has raised the heat from the poet’s imagination, and which assumes forms and colors , according to the point of view he takes on the people. “I like to think that behind all the legends there was a woman who looked at the stars and talked about” her radiant image “; that he knew the” delights “of the beloved girls; who looked beyond the mighty sea.I think like Meleager: Sappho weaved “some rare flowers, which are roses.” His poems flourish in every new era, in every person who discovers the power of his poetry.

Other Greek poets existed in antiquity. They are not as well known in the books as Archilochus, Pindar or the Tragedies, but their artistic skills did the job. In his book “Save the house and shut up”, Janés remembers some of them. Erina, for example, the symbolic heir to Sappho. She died at the age of 19, leaving a poem about the loss of Baucis, a friend from her childhood: “Now in my lament I weep and resign, / because my profane feet can not leave the house, / or see you dead with my eyes, / do not regret with my hair down, because the dark shame / tears my cheeks … “Many more sang. I read the names of” Corina, Cleobulina, Telesila, Mirtis, Praxila “. Then the great Anite de Tegea appears , which renewed the lyricism. Grouper of Byzantium, of which, according to Janés, we have two epigrams: “Hello, Hamadryad women, the maidens of the river, / whose bottom you walk, divine, with pink feet.” Then I meet Nossis de Locris and I think on the lost female voices, even in such a central culture as the Greek who, despite their philosophically flourishing marginalized women, yet the splendor of the poets flees from the fragments that are preserved. Reading them encourages me to write, to return to poetry. returns to Sappho’s verse: “Come again d oh, divine lyre, / talk to me, make you well. “


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