If Not, Winter. Fragments of Sappho

From poet and classicist Anne Carson comes this translation of the work of Sappho, together with the original Greek. During her life on the island of Lesbos, Sappho is said to have composed nine books of lyrics. Only one poem has survived complete. In "If Not, Winter", Carson presents all the extant fragments of Sappho's verse, employing brackets and white space to denote missing text - allowing the reader to imagine the poems as they were written. Carson says of her method of translation: "I like to think that, the more I stand out of the way, the more Sappho shows through". Her translation illuminates Sappho's reflections on love and desire, her companions and rivals, the goddess Aphrodite and her own daughter, Kleis. The book brings us an ancient poet brought to life by an empathetic contemporary poet, and is complete with an introduction and notes.

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