Tuesday, April 14, 2020

W/W: Equal to the Gods, Sappho, Fr. 2

Ad mulierem adamatam.
Videtur ille mihi par Divis 
vir esse, qui adversus te
sedet, & propius dulce profantem 
te auscultat
et ridentem amabiliter, quod mihi
cor in pectoribus obstupescit;
ut enim vidi te, in fauces mihi vocis
nihil amplius venit.
Imo quidem lingua fracta est, & per tenuem
Protinus cutem ignis demanavit;
oculisque nihil video; bombitantque 
mihi aures.
Et gelidus sudor defluit; tremorque
occupant totam, pallidiorque herba
sum: a moriendo paululum absens
videor exanimis.
Sed quidvis audendum est, quia egentem...

[Compare with Catullus 51: 
Ille mi par esse deo videtur,
ille, si fas est, superare divos,
qui sedens adversus identidem te
     spectat et audit
dulce ridentem, misero quod omnis
eripit sensus mihi: nam simul te,
Lesbia, aspexi, nihil est super mi
     * * * * * * * *
lingua sed torpet, tenuis sub artus
flamma demanat, sonitu suopte
tintinant aures gemina, teguntur
     lumina nocte.
otium, Catulle, tibi molestum est:
otio exsultas nimiumque gestis:
otium et reges prius et beatas
     perdidit urbes. ]

φάινεταί μοι κῆνοσ ἴσοσ τηέοισιν
ἔμμεν ὤνερ ὄστισ ἐναντίοσ τοι
ἰζάνει καὶ πλασίον ἀδυ
     φωνεύσασ ὐπακούει

καὶ γαλαίσασ ἰμμερόεν τὸ δὴ ᾽μάν
καρδίαν ἐν στήθεσιν ἐπτόασεν,
ὠσ γὰρ εὔιδον βροχέωσ σε, φώνασ
     οὐδὲν ἔτ᾽ ἔικει,

ἀλλὰ κάμ μὲν γλῳσσα ϝέαγε, λέπτον
δ᾽ αὔτικα χρῷ πῦρ ὐπαδεδρόμακεν,
ὀππάτεσσι δ᾽ οὐδὲν ορημ᾽,
     ἐπιρρόμβεισι δ᾽ ἄκουαι.

ἀ δέ μ᾽ ί᾽δρωσ κακχέεται, τρόμοσ δὲ
παῖσαν ἄγρει χλωροτέρα δὲ ποίασ
ἔμμι, τεθνάκην δ᾽ ὀλιγω ᾽πιδεύϝην
     φαίνομαι [ἄλλα].

πᾶν τόλματον [......]

--Sappho, Fr. 2. Translated into Latin from the Greek by Johannis Christian Wolfius

To a Woman Loved by Sappho:
That man seems to me
to be equal to the gods
who gets to sit across from you
and hear you flirting and laughing sweetly.
When I see you,
the heart in my chest gets thrown out of whack,
my voice gets stuck in my throat,
I can't talk.
I'm tongue-tied,
a hot flash flows through my skin,
my eyes stop working,
and humming fills up my ears.
Cold sweat overtakes me,
my entire body shakes,
I get greener than grass;
I'm not far from death, I seem to be dying.

But I gotta shoot my shot, because wretched...

SAPPHO
MAP:
Name:  Σαπφώ / Sappho
Date:  630 – 570 BCE
Works:  <lost: only fragments remain>

REGION  5
Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans

BIO:
Timeline:
Sappho was universally applauded by the ancient world as the “Tenth Muse.” Because she was one of the earliest Greek lyric poets, there is very little definitive information on Sappho’s life.  It is generally agreed that Sappho was a wealthy noblewoman from the island of Lesbos who had three brothers and a daughter named Kleis. She used her prominent social position to support a cohort of other women artists, and composed many poems about them, expressing her love for them, praising their beauty, and celebrating their marriages. Whereas earlier Greek poetry was epic poetry with serious themes of gods, warfare, and the state, Sappho’s lyric poetry is emotional, intimate and personal. Her poetry centers around womanhood and womanly love, providing rare insight into social mores of the time period. The modern term “lesbian” (a woman who is attracted to another woman) reveals the longevity of her impact upon western culture [NOTE: Although “lesbian” is the accepted term in modern English, authors in the ancient world used a different word for a homosexual woman, and only occasionally used the term “lesbian” euphemistically]. Unfortunately, although her poetry was universally revered by the Greeks and Romans alike, Sappho’s works only exist as fragments, adding mysterious allure to her larger-than-life status but unfortunately hindering our understanding of her life and thoughts.
 Archaic Greek
ARCHAIC: (through 6th c. BCE); GOLDEN AGE: (5th - 4th c. BCE); ALEXANDRIAN: (4th c. BCE - 1st c. BCE); ROMAN: (1st c. BCE - 4th c. CE); POST CONSTANTINOPLE: (4th c. CE - 8th c. CE); BYZANTINE: (post 8th c CE)