Archive

Some rose-colored visions of the dancing dawn goddess in the painterly art of Sappho and beyond

2020.12.11 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In the “Tithonos Song” of Sappho, the fragmented text of which (“F 58”) has of late been supplemented with newly-found additional papyrus fragments, we read how the amorous goddess of the dawn, Eos, abducted the beautiful hero Tithonos to be her youthful lover—but she was unable to prevent him from slowly turning into an old man, deprived of his youth and beauty. This sad… Read more

A sweet bird for the songs of Sappho

2020.12.04 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In the title of this essay, the wording ‘sweet bird’ echoes what we hear in part of a poem by John Milton, Il Penseroso (1645/1646), later set to music by George Frideric Handel (1740), whose librettist merged Milton’s poem with the symmetrical L’Allegro (1645). So, Milton’s poetry became for Handel an extended song blending the mirth of L’Allegro with the melancholy of Il Penseroso.… Read more

Thinking of further desiderata while tracing the reception of Sappho in the ancient world

2020.11.27 | By Gregory Nagy §0. Following up on my previous essay in Classical Inquiries (Nagy 2020.11.20), I offer here some further thoughts about desiderata that occur to me as I proceed in making plans to write up, as a self-standing monograph to be published by Classical Inquiries both online and as a printed “pamphlet,” the results—to date—of my attempts at tracing the reception of Sappho in the ancient world.… Read more

Three poems by Vassilis Vassilikos

Translated by George Chaldezos & Nick Fielding I CHILDHOOD MEMORY Mattresses to mend! Mattresses to mend! Bow on his back, he roamed the streets. Suyulu, Five-Hundreds, Ay-Yanni.* Cheerfully he looked at me, a little lad looking at him, an archery victor at an… Read more

The love of small birds

2020.11.13 | By Natasha Bershadsky §0. I pick up here the thread of an essay by Gregory Nagy where he connects a vase painting that pictures a girl with a little pet bird, as painted by the Meidias Painter, with Poems 2 and 3 of Catullus. I will argue that there is a poetics of fluidity in identifying this little bird, and that the identities of such birds actually depends… Read more