The stars about the lovely moon
Fade back and vanish very soon,
When, round and full, her silver face
Swims into sight, and lights all space

–Sappho

The full moon of these days prompts me to revisit my old memories of the great Sappho, “Violet-crowned, pure, sweet-smiling Sappho” (“Dolce-ridente Saffo coronata di viole”, “Divina Safo, dulce sonrisa coronada de violetas”), whose poems I love. Here is to you, tenth Muse, and to our own full and blue moons.

(Translation of The Moon by Edwin Arnold, from Greek Poets in English Verse (1983).

Anacreon Sappho Eros and a Female Dancer by Lavallee Poussin, 1790. Detail.

Anacreon Sappho Eros and a Female Dancer by Lavallee Poussin, 1790. Detail. Some rights reserved CC by-nc-sa by Mary Harrsch.

Of course, the Internets invite me to find translations in all languages!

Le stelle intorno alla luna bella nascondono di nuovo l’aspetto luminoso, quando essa, piena, di più risplende sulla terra… (Translation by  Salvatore Quasimodo).


De la hermosa luna los astros cerca
hacia atrás ocultan luciente el rostro
cuando aquella brilla del todo llena
sobre la tierra…

(From Ciudad Seva)

Antonio Vantaggiato
antonio-vantaggiato@blogs.netedu.info

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