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  #1  
Unread 07-13-2019, 05:44 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Default Not Sappho Fr 96, rather Sappho Fr 31

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The Sea Captain in Syracuse (after Ψαπφω)


Equal to the gods that man seems to me there,
often face to face seated opposite you,
hearing your soft laughter and beautiful voice,
xxx which is what truly

makes my heart shudder in my ribcage. For as
soon as I glimpse you even briefly, then no
longer can I speak, and my tongue is wholly
xxx broken, while small fires

fly under my skin, and my eyes see no thing
as my ears are whirring aloud. And then sweat
trickles, trembling holds all my body, I am
xxx paler than straw and

seem to myself now to need little to die.
Yet I will dare everything, even though a
penniless lyre player, when once I sing for
xxx him and me only.




Trial changes:
Title: “The” was “To a
L2 is "seated opposite", was "sitting spellbound with"
L5 is “shudder”, was”stagger in my ribcage”, was “flutter in my bosom
L6 is "under", was "below"
LL7-8 are "wholly / broken", were "scattered / also"
L8 is "small [???]", was "fine"
L13 reverted "myself now", was “my own self”, was ”myself now”
L14 is "lyre", was "lute"; reverted to "when once", was "as now ???", was "when once"



Version 1

Equal to the gods that man seems to me there,
often face to face sitting spellbound with you,
hearing your soft laughter and beautiful voice,
xxx which is what truly

makes my heart flutter in my bosom. For as
soon as I glimpse you even briefly, then no
longer can I speak, and my tongue is scattered
xxx also, while fine fires

fly below my skin, and my eyes see no thing
as my ears are whirring aloud. And then sweat
trickles, trembling holds all my body, I am
xxx paler than straw and

seem to myself now to need little to die.
Yet I will dare everything, even though a
penniless lute player, when once I sing for
xxx him and me only.
________

The English version from the current Wikipedia article:

That man seems to me to be equal to the gods

who is sitting opposite you

and hears you nearby

speaking sweetly



and laughing delightfully, which indeed

makes my heart flutter in my breast;

for when I look at you even for a short time,

it is no longer possible for me to speak



but it is as if my tongue is broken

and immediately a subtle fire has run over my skin,

I cannot see anything with my eyes,

and my ears are buzzing



a cold sweat comes over me, trembling

seizes me all over, I am paler

than grass, and I seem nearly

to have died.



but everything must be dared/endured, since (?even a poor man) ..."

___________

There are minor editorial variations in the sole incomplete surviving text from Pseudo-Longinus. Here are the forms from the current Wikipedia article, Chris Childers' version, and the Classics Library. I could not access Aaron Poochigian's Greek text. I think it's very interesting that the "line" breaks often occur with a word, that is, there is a lot of enjambment within a word.

Chris Childers' truncated Greek text:

φαίνεταί μοι κῆνος ἴσος θέοισιν

ἔμμεν᾿ ὤνηρ, ὄττις ἐνάντιός τοι

ἰσδάνει καὶ πλάσιον ἆδυ φωνεί-

σας ὐπακούει

καὶ γελαίσας ἰμέροεν, τό μ᾿ ἦ μὰν

καρδίαν ἐν στήθεσιν ἐπτόαισεν·

ὠς γὰρ ἔς σ᾿ ἴδω βρόχε᾿, ὤς με φώναι-

σ᾿ οὐδ᾿ ἒν ἔτ᾿ εἴκει,

ἀλλὰ κὰμ μὲν γλῶσσά <μ᾿> ἔαγε, λέπτον

δ᾿ αὔτικα χρῷ πῦρ ὐπαδεδρόμηκεν,

ὀππάτεσσι δ᾿ οὐδ᾿ ἒν ὄρημμ᾿, ἐπιρρόμ-

βεισι δ᾿ ἄκουαι,

κὰδ δέ μ᾿ ἴδρως κακχέεται, τρόμος δὲ

παῖσαν ἄγρει, χλωροτέρα δὲ ποίας

ἔμμι, τεθνάκην δ᾿ ὀλίγω ᾿πιδεύης

φαίνομ᾿ ἔμ᾿ αὔτ[ᾳ.

The Classics Library text:

φαίνεταί μοι κῆνος ἴσος θέοισιν
ἔμμεν’ ὤνηρ, ὄττις ἐνάντιός τοι
ἰσδάνει καὶ πλάσιον ἆδυ φωνεί-
σας ὐπακούει

καὶ γελαίσας ἰμέροεν, τό μ’ ἦ μὰν
καρδίαν ἐν στήθεσιν ἐπτόαισεν,
ὠς γὰρ ἔς σ’ ἴδω βρόχε’ ὤς με φώνας
οὔδεν ἔτ’ εἴκει,

ἀλλὰ κὰμ μὲν γλῶσσα +ἔαγε, λέπτον
δ’ αὔτικα χρῶι πῦρ ὐπαδεδρόμακεν,
ὀππάτεσσι δ’ οὐδ’ ἒν ὄρημμ’, ἐπιρρόμ-
βεισι δ’ ἄκουαι,

κὰδ’ δέ ἴδρως κακχέεται, τρόμος δὲ
παῖσαν ἄγρει, χλωροτέρα δὲ ποίας
ἔμμι, τεθνάκην δ’ ὀλίγω ‘πιδεύης
φαίνομ’ ἔμ’ αὔτᾳ.

ἀλλὰ πᾶν τόλματον, ἐπεὶ +καὶ πένητα

The Wikipedia Greek text (July 13, 2019)

φαίνεταί μοι κῆνος ἴσος θέοισιν

ἔμμεν᾽ ὤνηρ, ὄττις ἐνάντιός τοι

ἰσδάνει καὶ πλάσιον ἆδυ φωνεί-

σας ὐπακούει



καὶ γελαίσας ἰμέροεν, τό μ᾽ ἦ μὰν

καρδίαν ἐν στήθεσιν ἐπτόαισεν·

ὠς γὰρ ἔς σ᾽ ἴδω βρόχε᾽, ὤς με φώναι-

σ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ἒν ἔτ᾽ εἴκει,



ἀλλ᾽ ἄκαν μὲν γλῶσσα †ἔαγε†, λέπτον

δ᾽ αὔτικα χρῶι πῦρ ὐπαδεδρόμηκεν,

ὀππάτεσσι δ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ἒν ὄρημμ᾽, ἐπιρρόμ-

βεισι δ᾽ ἄκουαι,



†έκαδε μ᾽ ἴδρως ψῦχρος κακχέεται†, τρόμος δὲ

παῖσαν ἄγρει, χλωροτέρα δὲ ποίας

ἔμμι, τεθνάκην δ᾽ ὀλίγω ᾽πιδεύης

φαίνομ᾽ ἔμ᾽ αὔται·



ἀλλὰ πὰν τόλματον ἐπεὶ †καὶ πένητα†

Last edited by Allen Tice; 07-21-2019 at 12:07 PM.
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  #2  
Unread 07-14-2019, 01:37 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Dude (if I may),

I like this a lot. I won't nit-pick the meter. I am uncomfortable with the editorializing ("spellbound"). Also, "also" is filler in line 8 after the conjunction "and" (which would be better as the adversative conjunction "but").

I respect your desire to do something new with the "tongue" but it is explicitly "shattered" or "broken" (check the Homeric parallels--like a sword breaking into shards).

Also, "fine" is not a helpful qualifier for the "fires." What are they? "Subtle"? "Tingling"? Not just "fine."

I would prefer "lyre" to "lute". Why introduce the Medieval/Renaissance to this already complex poem?

Also, what's up with "when once"? Just pick one.

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 07-14-2019 at 01:44 PM.
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Unread 07-14-2019, 05:46 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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You may, Aaron. Now that's the kind of critique I like and want !

E gyneka mou is serving dinner momentarily, so her o andras will have to return in due time, αλλα I can say right off that a number of your suggestions are very good, and others deserve full respect and contemplation. More later. Evreka!

Best,
Allen
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Unread 07-15-2019, 12:48 PM
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xxx Aaron, I've tried to use all your suggestions. I miss "scattered", which came from "shattered" of course. "Lyre" has small sonic problems that "lute" lacked, but it's more accurate and almost one syllable. The current Wikipedia article (here) on Sappho considerably clarifies the existence of her daughter Kleis, and her exile to Syracuse. I don't think there's a consensus about whether Kleis was born before the exile or after. Here's a good place to set out a scholar's argument of what I've long felt. Emphases are mine.


Christina A. Clark, The Poetics of Manhood in July 2008 issue of Classical Philology (University of Chicago) [~pp 250 – 263]

xxx A different take on this fragment. In the article cited above, Christina A. Clark points out that at least four Latin poets closely alluded to Sappho's self-description in fragment 31: Catullus (ffr 51 all; 64 line 99) and Horace (Ode 1.13) of course; but also Lucretius (discussing fear) and Valerius Aedituus (the first of two epigrams in the Noctes Atticae of Aulus Gellius). Christina Clark, p 261:

xxx "All these poets except Lucretius use elements in Sappho 31 in their own amatory poems, whereas Lucretius, who translates her most faithfully, changes the context of the affect displays back to epic fear. Lucretius gives his fearful man all of the affect displays seen in Sappho 31,..."

xxx A table on p 258 lists the symptoms of fear given by Lucretius: "Mind disturbed, soul feels fear. Tongue breaks: voice disappears. Eyes black out. Ears ring. Sweat. Limbs give way. Pallor."

xxx I would myself note that in his own version (fr 51), Catullus becomes upset first at the moment when he sees his male rival in the love triangle contemplating the darling of both men (". . . again and again he gazes at you ... which snatches all my senses away from wretched me -- identidem te spectat ... misero quod omnis eripit sensus mihi"). Sappho was said to be 'plain' in appearance (whatever that means!), or at least not flashy by archaic standards, and who could judge for certain now? But reading Sappho's fragment 31, we will note that Sappho's troubled state begins when she sees the superbly charming other woman, the third party in her own inimitable romantic triangle.

xxx 'Plain' or not, Sappho is not physically upset by the fortunate and/or good-looking man that she flatters. Given our ignorance about Sappho's many friendships one cannot say, but one might venture that it is reasonable to allow the possibility for a moment at least that Sappho's symptoms of fear were caused by the other woman, that other woman who upset her body so much, and who was commanding the attention of a heavenly man whom Sappho for some reason wanted to pay attention to herself.
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Unread 07-15-2019, 03:14 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Yay, I like your revisions.

Here's more of a question: is the "heart aflutter" translation too easy? Translators tend to knee-jerk to that idiom. I think what the Greek says is much stronger: you make me feel like I am having a fucking heart attack! The symptomology of the poem is more in keeping with a panic attack.

Also, "bosom," really? You're going to use the word "bosom" here in the 21st century?
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Unread 07-15-2019, 04:45 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Allen,

Maybe stutter for flutter, if you want similar sonics? I'm not now equipped to judge your Englishing, but what you have in English reads very nicely to me, for this famous poem. My one nit would be in S2 where you have two two-syllable line endings follow one another, and the ear (or my ear) is disappointed.

Cheers,
John
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Unread 07-15-2019, 05:39 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Aaron P., you have been a terrific lodestar elsewhere for PMG 976, and I tend to trust your stronger sonar on the meaning packets of archaic Greek usage. So, since what you say makes sense to me in the universe of the poem, and has your sonar ping cachet, I will turn my scuba light onto what Sappho says about her heart. She was at least half-orphaned by age six—and perhaps fully orphaned—and felt emotions strongly. A highly intelligent, vulnerable woman. As for “bosom”, I kinda like pumpkins, lemons, and such, but this is ribcage too. I will try to think about her thorax from the inside. Mustn’t be too audacious: she’s describing herself.

John, I’m not sure I see the problem as you do. Will consider though.
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Unread 07-15-2019, 08:12 PM
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New verb, new noun.
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Unread 07-15-2019, 08:31 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Yeah, I prefer ribcage. Stagger I think is fresher than flutter, but I still prefer stutter. Stagger implies walking, to me, whereas stutter is less tied to the body walking. An engine can stutter, it won't stagger.

Cheers,
John
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Unread 07-15-2019, 11:02 PM
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John, if anything, Sappho called things as they were, precisely, nicely. and both ribcage and stagger could have been in her vocabulary. But I will try “shudder”.
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