Sappho

(c. 600 BCE / Greece)

On what is best


Some celebrate the beauty
of knights, or infantry,
or billowing flotillas
........................
........................
read full text »

Form:

# 310 poem on top 500 Poems


Do you like this poem?
21 person liked.
2 person did not like.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Translated by JON CORELiS

Comments about this poem (On what is best by Sappho )

Enter the verification code :

  • Bronze Star - 6,398 Points Rajnish Manga (1/2/2015 12:11:00 AM)

    The power of love is far stronger than the power of all armies. It is a beauty of a poem which I would like to read again and again. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 2,988 Points Pranab K Chakraborty (1/1/2015 6:33:00 AM)

    Actually battle and love, love for battle or battling love or battle for love.....two poles are different but always they misguide civilians as the otherside of moon. Sapho's equation demonstrated in this writing rather too easy to draw a straightline and obviously incomplete by various logic to come to a conclusion. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Pruchnicki (1/1/2010 10:38:00 AM)

    The following is a translation by Josephine Balmer -

    Some an army of horsemen, some an army on foot
    and some say a fleet of ships is the loveliest sight
    on this dark earth; but I say it is what-
    ever you desire:

    and it is possible to make this perfectly clear
    to all; for the woman who far surpassed all others
    in her beauty, Helen, left her husband-
    the best of all men -

    behind and sailed far away to Troy; she did not spare
    a single thought for her child nor for her dear parents
    but the goddess of love led her astray

    which
    reminds me now of Anactoria
    although far away. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Pruchnicki (1/1/2010 10:14:00 AM)

    Whether or not God is love in this draycart of a poem by a poet who lived and died centuries before Christianity I leave to the scholars! The translation posted here is probably as good as one can expect given time and circumstance. The poem is indeed economical in its use of language and imagery. From the glory of war in such epic poetry as Homer's ILIAD and ODYSSEY, alluded to in the second stanza by the reference to Troy and Helen, the symbol of beauty and sexual attraction throughout literature to the present. The speaker's darling far away may be her daughter if we consider the speaker to be the woman who lived in Lesbos and was married and had a daughter, or the speaker is fictional and is addressing one of the young girls to whom Sappho taught music and poetry and the devotion to the goddess of erotic love and marriage! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kevin Straw (1/1/2010 5:53:00 AM)

    Surely the original cannot have been as bad as this translation. It clumps along like a drayhorse. There's a line missing from the third verse. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Emma_1221@list.ru Adamyan (1/1/2010 2:54:00 AM)

    I surely don`t know Creek, but the English version says it`s fantastic poem and translation. I can only guess, that love was supposed to bring only joy and happiness, i mean a true love from God... so, if it makes a woman to leave her husband and... child! to hold a stranger`s hand... i think it`s not love, but true punishment (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 461 Points Ramesh T A (1/1/2010 1:03:00 AM)

    Indeed there is nothing fair or foul both in war and love. But love is supreme power over war and life in the world! (Report) Reply

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. If, Rudyard Kipling
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  8. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  10. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou

Poem of the Day

poet Hilaire Belloc

Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one's Eyes;
Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,
Attempted to Believe Matilda:
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. सपना इतना..sapna itna, hasmukh amathalal
  2. Hard labour, hasmukh amathalal
  3. Peace will prevail..., veeraiyah subbulakshmi
  4. Divine Vs Divination, Nalini Jyotsana Chaturvedi
  5. Richmond Explodes, John Allen Richter
  6. Solomon's empire, hasmukh amathalal
  7. Restart, Nalini Jyotsana Chaturvedi
  8. A Naat A warning Paposh Hayn Hum, Akhtar Jawad
  9. Values, Luo Zhihai
  10. TRUTH DEVOURING, Michael P. Johnson
[Hata Bildir]