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The Greek lyric, elegiac and iambic poets of the two centuries from 650 to 450 BCE - Archilochus and Alcman, Sappho and Mimnermus, Anacreon, Simonides, and the rest - produced some of the finest poetry of antiquity, perfect in form, spontaneous in expression, reflecting all the joys and anxieties of their personal lives and of the societies in which they lived. This new po The Greek lyric, elegiac and iambic poets of the two centuries from 650 to 450 BCE - Archilochus and Alcman, Sappho and Mimnermus, Anacreon, Simonides, and the rest - produced some of the finest poetry of antiquity, perfect in form, spontaneous in expression, reflecting all the joys and anxieties of their personal lives and of the societies in which they lived. This new poetic translation seeks to capture the nuances of meaning and the whole spirit of this poetry. It is not merely a selection but covers all the surviving poems and intelligible fragments, apart from the works of Pindar and Bacchylides, and includes a number of pieces not previously translated. The introduction gives a brief account of the poets, and explanatory notes on the texts can be found at the end.


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The Greek lyric, elegiac and iambic poets of the two centuries from 650 to 450 BCE - Archilochus and Alcman, Sappho and Mimnermus, Anacreon, Simonides, and the rest - produced some of the finest poetry of antiquity, perfect in form, spontaneous in expression, reflecting all the joys and anxieties of their personal lives and of the societies in which they lived. This new po The Greek lyric, elegiac and iambic poets of the two centuries from 650 to 450 BCE - Archilochus and Alcman, Sappho and Mimnermus, Anacreon, Simonides, and the rest - produced some of the finest poetry of antiquity, perfect in form, spontaneous in expression, reflecting all the joys and anxieties of their personal lives and of the societies in which they lived. This new poetic translation seeks to capture the nuances of meaning and the whole spirit of this poetry. It is not merely a selection but covers all the surviving poems and intelligible fragments, apart from the works of Pindar and Bacchylides, and includes a number of pieces not previously translated. The introduction gives a brief account of the poets, and explanatory notes on the texts can be found at the end.

30 review for Greek Lyric Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    [Nota bene: I have combined the reviews of three books into one and used the same review for each. So if you have read one, you have read all three.] Meleager brings you his lamp, O Venus, For it knows how he celebrates you in the dark. The Greek Anthology is an unusual text with roots in an anthology of epigrams first compiled by Meleager of Gadara in the 1st century BCE and supplemented over the centuries by various editors/compilers until it contained over 4,000 poems of various length and [Nota bene: I have combined the reviews of three books into one and used the same review for each. So if you have read one, you have read all three.] Meleager brings you his lamp, O Venus, For it knows how he celebrates you in the dark. The Greek Anthology is an unusual text with roots in an anthology of epigrams first compiled by Meleager of Gadara in the 1st century BCE and supplemented over the centuries by various editors/compilers until it contained over 4,000 poems of various length and type including epitaphs and prayers.(*) The poems date between the 7th century BCE through the 6th century CE. It is the richest source we have of ancient Greek lyric poetry, as opposed to their more familiar epics, didactic poetry and poetic dramas. The Greek Anthology has a very complicated textual history, not the least reason for which is the fact that many of the sentiments expressed by poems in the collection, particularly of a sexual nature, were not of the sort that soothed Christian spirits. So the text suffered some serious violations at the hands of medieval monks and self-righteous Victorians, among others. An additional complication is that there are dozens and dozens of translations of selections of poems from the Anthology, and that all these translators have very different ideas of how to render the poems into English. So, one is faced with the problem of deciding which selections and translators one should read. To read the entire anthology would be quite a task, though it is available in English in a five volume bilingual edition by W.R. Paton in the Harvard Loeb series (and therefore in some of the stiffest English imaginable). After casting about for guidance here and there and then sampling some of the texts, I settled on M.L. West's Greek Lyric Poetry, Burton Raffel's Pure Pagan: Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments, and Kenneth Rexroth's Poems from the Greek Anthology, at least to begin. These books are very different from each other, nor do they all restrict their selection to the Greek Anthology.(**) But all three give us an interesting glimpse into ancient Greek lyric poetry. Raffel's Pure Pagan (2004) is a slim volume of selections of "less well known poems and poets" from the 7th century BCE to the 1st century CE, and Raffel has chosen to give the poems a modern face. Though he writes that he neither "embroiders" the work nor puts "words into their mouths," his line breaks, stanza shapes and tendency towards linguistic spareness are modern. Consider, as an extreme example, what he does with the following fragment of Alkaios (also anglicized via Latin as Alcaeus; born c. 620 BCE) Trees: All right, Plant trees. But first Plant Vines. West, who translates all extant lyric poems dating prior to 450 BCE (excepting the extensive works of Pindar and Bacchylides) in his Greek Lyric Poetry (1993), renders this fragment soberly as Let the vine be the first fruit-tree you plant: others can wait their turn. Rather a difference there.(***) Rexroth, whose fine translations of classic Chinese and Japanese poetry I much appreciate and have reviewed elsewhere, makes his selection only from the Greek Anthology, a book, he assures us in his introduction, that accompanied him everywhere for decades.(4*) An accomplished poet himself, Rexroth states that the classical Greeks and Chinese made him the poet he was. His primary goal in this collection was to create beautiful English poems that were faithful to the meaning of the originals; the complicated metric structure of the elegiac couplets was left aside. Unlike the other two, Rexroth's selection favored the Hellenistic poets over those of the archaic and classical periods. Though West has the advantage of completeness over both Raffel and Rexroth, within the indicated limits, this advantage is also a drawback. For reading fragment after fragment after fragment results in the same sense of exasperated frustration one feels when one reads the remnants of the works of the pre-Socratic philosophers. Because they have the luxury of choice, the other two translators can select fragments that mimic some kind of wholeness. Though Raffel provides some background material and some notes of explanation (Rexroth let's them "stand on their own"), West's introduction and notes are notably more informative. As usual, no perfect choice can be made here, so I purchased the lot. Let's turn the stage over to the poets now. By Sappho (born between 632 and 612 and died around 570 BCE) - translated by M.L. West Rich-throned immortal Aphrodite, scheming daughter of Zeus, I pray you, with pain and sickness, Queen, crush not my heart, but come, if ever in the past you heard my voice from afar and hearkened, and left your father’s halls and came, with gold chariot yoked; and pretty sparrows brought you swiftly across the dark earth fluttering wings from heaven through the air. Soon they were here, and you, Blessed Goddess, smiling with your immortal features, asked why I’d called, what was the matter now, what was my heart insanely craving: “Who is it this time I must cozen to love you, Sappho? Who’s unfair to you? “For though she flee, soon she’ll be chasing; though she refuse gifts, she’ll be giving; though she love not, she’ll love despite herself.” Yes, come once more, from sore obsession free me; all that my heart desires fulfilled, fulfill—help me to victory! There are other women poets in the Anthology. One of them wrote a favorite of Rexroth: By Anyte (early 3rd century BCE) - translated by Kenneth Rexroth The children have put purple Reins on you, he goat, and a Bridle in your bearded mouth. And they play at horse races Round a temple where a god Gazes on their childish joy. By Anacreon (582 BC – 485 BCE) - translated by M.L. West He used to wear a rough cloak, pinched in at the waist, and wooden baubles in his ears, and round his ribs a hairless cowhide, the unwashed covering off a cheap shield; and he used to go with baker-women and with rent-boys on the make, seeking a phony livelihood. His neck was often in the stocks or on the rack, his back flogged with a rawhide whip, his hair and beard plucked out, the “poor wretch” Artemon. And now he wears gold ear-rings, rides about in traps, “Koisyra’s son”, and holds an ivory sunshade up, as ladylike as anything. By Krates (I don't know which Krates this is) - translated by Kenneth Rexroth Time’s fingers bend us slowly With dubious craftsmanship, That at last spoils all it forms. And, finally, a lament common to every time and every place: By Menecrates (born c. 340 BCE) - translated by Burton Raffel We all pray for it Before it comes, Then blame it When it arrives. Old age is a debt We like to be owed, Not one we like to collect. (*) To speak of "it" is misleading. What we have now is a folding together of a number of medieval manuscripts, primary among which are the Planudean Anthology and the Palatine Anthology. The Planudean text is named after the monk Maximus Planudes, who took serious liberties with the Byzantine manuscript which came into his hands. The Palatine Anthology is believed to be the only extant, though partial copy of that Byzantine manuscript, compiled around 1,000 CE by Constantinus Cephalas. (**) For example, both Raffel and West chose some poems from the three volume Lyra Graeca, but those books are themselves based partially on the Greek Anthology and partially on fragments found elsewhere. I'm not obsessive enough to care if a particular poem comes from the Greek Anthology or not... (***) West's version gives a fair rendering of the rhythm of the Greek original, whereas Raffel makes no efforts in that direction at all. (4*) More precisely, he added a handful of poems from the Latin originally intended for a similar volume of Roman poetry, a project he discarded. Rating http://leopard.booklikes.com/post/958...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    Hello, I'm a classicist, and I like to read ancient Greek lyric poetry on Sunday mornings for fun. And, well, because I have a project coming up and I just love research. This time around I focused mostly on references to weaving in Sappho as part of my senior thesis/capstone project. I'm not sure how many other references to weaving the male (lyric) poets will have since the whole gender differentiation thing was very real, but working with Gregory Nagy's theory that there must have been profess Hello, I'm a classicist, and I like to read ancient Greek lyric poetry on Sunday mornings for fun. And, well, because I have a project coming up and I just love research. This time around I focused mostly on references to weaving in Sappho as part of my senior thesis/capstone project. I'm not sure how many other references to weaving the male (lyric) poets will have since the whole gender differentiation thing was very real, but working with Gregory Nagy's theory that there must have been professional male weavers, there very well could be. (Although the male poets seem to focus more on formal address of gods and on sexual conquests, but perhaps this is not surprising.) It is very interesting to see how the presence of daily activities (ie, weaving) is reflected in the poetry. Sappho focuses a lot on dress, adornment, and on the fabric itself, including the color, quality, source, production, and cost. These are all very interesting factors that we can read through to find out elements about the ancient Greek culture, such as the social and and economic status one would have to have to have crimson cloth (as differentiated from red, since the expensive one is the product of crushed beetles and the other is from madder). I now wonder if in the Greek different words are used in Sappho's poetry to refer to "crimson" and to "red" (and what about "scarlet"....?) Hmmmmm.... ... And this is how we know I found my calling in life, because I get I'm one of very few people in this world who probably care about the socioeconomic demographics of fiber arts in Sappho, but hey, this is the most interesting thing I've thought about all week.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Piers Haslam

    A very profound book. The honour of reading these ancient fragments is truly awesome to me. Even when a large proportion of the works here are difficult to understand in their references and assumptions, I found it exhilarating to try and crack the code of the lyrics that jumped out at me. The bizarre and extremely strong sexuality in parts of the book appealed to me; it's books like this that makes one really question the foundations of cultural structures, but via exposure to a different cultu A very profound book. The honour of reading these ancient fragments is truly awesome to me. Even when a large proportion of the works here are difficult to understand in their references and assumptions, I found it exhilarating to try and crack the code of the lyrics that jumped out at me. The bizarre and extremely strong sexuality in parts of the book appealed to me; it's books like this that makes one really question the foundations of cultural structures, but via exposure to a different culture rather than by simply being told. I have no background at all in reading classical literature, so this was a step into the unknown for me. Archilochus, Anacreon and Sappho are my favourites that I took away from this. A fine collection of simple beauty; much recommended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Markus

    A collection of poems and fragments of Greek Lyric Poetry from 700 BC down to 450 BC, from Archilochus to Praxilla, via Sappho, Alcaeus, Solon, Homer, Stesichorus, Anacreon, Hipponax, and many others. Lyric Poetry is very divers and can mean, for song and or accompanied by a lyre, but also by other instruments like oboes (aulos), or a harp. I wish I could hear the sound of their songs and melodies. It was all social poetry, meant for the present and intended for oral reproduction. The range of rec A collection of poems and fragments of Greek Lyric Poetry from 700 BC down to 450 BC, from Archilochus to Praxilla, via Sappho, Alcaeus, Solon, Homer, Stesichorus, Anacreon, Hipponax, and many others. Lyric Poetry is very divers and can mean, for song and or accompanied by a lyre, but also by other instruments like oboes (aulos), or a harp. I wish I could hear the sound of their songs and melodies. It was all social poetry, meant for the present and intended for oral reproduction. The range of recurring subjects is : Theogony, The Troyan War and its heroes, mythology, politics, war and battle, Poets also expressed their feelings and concerns about everyday issues, like love, hopes fears, complaints in every setting, public or private. Much of this poetry is originally of the highest quality, it is only unfortunate that most of their work has been lost. For me this book is most of all a welcome reminder of the many names and actors of general ancient greek history. I am starting to find my way around.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Monty Milne

    To read this is to be transported to a far more congenial time and place (at least to me). After finishing this I went out for lunch at my favourite restaurant and as the handsome young waiter approached I almost quoted these words of Alcaeus: "Slave-boy, trickle the scent over my long suffering head....mix the sweet wine unstintingly, and put a nice soft cushion by my head..." But I didn't. Who wouldn't want to be able to say those words for real, though? Oh to be Greek, rich, free, and living 2, To read this is to be transported to a far more congenial time and place (at least to me). After finishing this I went out for lunch at my favourite restaurant and as the handsome young waiter approached I almost quoted these words of Alcaeus: "Slave-boy, trickle the scent over my long suffering head....mix the sweet wine unstintingly, and put a nice soft cushion by my head..." But I didn't. Who wouldn't want to be able to say those words for real, though? Oh to be Greek, rich, free, and living 2,500 years ago...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Lloyd

    This translation of Greek lyric poetry down to ca. 450 BCE by the esteemed Martin West is a strange concoction. Published in the "World's Classics" line by Oxford University Press it is a (relatively) cheap paperback edition which allows early lyric poetry to be widely available, translated by a prestigious and talented scholar, if not by a poet. The volume includes Sappho, Alcaeus, and Solon, as well as a number of poets who are perhaps less well-known to the general public,* but who are certai This translation of Greek lyric poetry down to ca. 450 BCE by the esteemed Martin West is a strange concoction. Published in the "World's Classics" line by Oxford University Press it is a (relatively) cheap paperback edition which allows early lyric poetry to be widely available, translated by a prestigious and talented scholar, if not by a poet. The volume includes Sappho, Alcaeus, and Solon, as well as a number of poets who are perhaps less well-known to the general public,* but who are certainly of interest - Archilochus and Tyrtaeus as some of the earliest poets with a reasonably large corpus; Xenophanes with his philosophy (and mild ribbing of the much more famous Pythagoras); Semonides with his early hints at the misogyny which underlies much of Greek civilization. But there are several decisions with which I am not certain that I agree: West includes a number of incomplete fragments which are barely legible, and hundreds of one-line fragments, which I don't see being of great interest to the general reader. On the other hand, so little context is provided for many of these fragments that for the scholar of antiquity (particularly archaeologists, such as myself, without the skill in ancient Greek to read everything regardless of its relevance to my research) the usefulness of the book is limited. I found myself questioning the audience for this book, finding it useful for an overview and for checking the references of others, but less useful than the Loeb editions of Greek lyric would be as these provide the context from which the poems are known (whether they are quoted by ancient sources or survive through papyrus fragments or even their own manuscript tradition), as well as facing Greek and translations. It is, however, much cheaper than the Loeb volumes. Therefore I would suggest, if one is interested in ancient lyric poetry (besides Sappho, who can be found in translation by a number of able poets), then this collection is a good place to start. However, it may not be a sufficient place to end. *It's been a long time since I've not known who several of these poets are, so I have genuinely no idea who are the widely-known early Greek poets (Homer and Sappho aside) and those of whom people might never have heard. Is Archilochus well known? Is Solon? How about Semonides? No idea.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Illiterate

    The problem with poetic fragments is that even if they are a nice phrase or image, there’s no context to give them emotional or intellectual significance.

  8. 4 out of 5

    R.a.

    A great and potent little book. Greek Lyric Poetry is here presented from the Seventh to the Fifth Century BCE. From mundane domestics to raptures of passion and spurn, the reader progresses. I am particularly happy that the anthology includes fragments. Even though we only get a line or two at times, it still sheds even more light on the remarkable culture / confederation that was Ancient Greece. As I am not a classical scholar, I have no idea if there were even more works and / or fragments that m A great and potent little book. Greek Lyric Poetry is here presented from the Seventh to the Fifth Century BCE. From mundane domestics to raptures of passion and spurn, the reader progresses. I am particularly happy that the anthology includes fragments. Even though we only get a line or two at times, it still sheds even more light on the remarkable culture / confederation that was Ancient Greece. As I am not a classical scholar, I have no idea if there were even more works and / or fragments that may have been included, here. Consequently, my only picayune complaint is simply that I wanted more. "Alas!"

  9. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Useful as a reference, but it must be admitted that there is a reason Greek lyric poetry is not a standard area of study. Nearly all the poetry can be grouped into the content areas of the erotic and the political, and while some of the latter is thought-provoking, most of the former is just plain lewd.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    I love Sappho, my lesbian goddess.

  11. 4 out of 5

    julia

    3.0 Stars. This is a super interesting compilation of Greek poets and authors, ordered by time periods to give a sense of cohesion. I loved the random tidbits of wisdom, but also the hilarity and irony imbibed in so many of the short poems and sayings and proverbs. I was also really surprised how contemporary some of the thinking was! I struggled, however, with parts of the historical context, especially when it came to political or war-related poetry. You'd honestly need to know more than the ba 3.0 Stars. This is a super interesting compilation of Greek poets and authors, ordered by time periods to give a sense of cohesion. I loved the random tidbits of wisdom, but also the hilarity and irony imbibed in so many of the short poems and sayings and proverbs. I was also really surprised how contemporary some of the thinking was! I struggled, however, with parts of the historical context, especially when it came to political or war-related poetry. You'd honestly need to know more than the basics of Greek history to comprehend every sly hint and remark and connection, especially if you want to understand the author's stance in particular. Even the notes in the back, which I read rigorously, only helped minimally with certain snippets of writing. However, this collection certainly made me want to increase my knowledge of Greek history. (Also, this is so gay, it's a blast!)

  12. 4 out of 5

    AB

    I picked this up after having translated a bit of lyric poetry in Greek. I was interested in seeing a collection of extant early Greek poetry. There were several poets whose works I quite enjoyed. Mimnermus, Alcman, Alcaeus, Theognis, Anacreon, Hipponax, and Xenophanes were my favorites. There was some really interesting insight into the social and political scene. I really wish there was a translation that discussed the contexts for the fragments and poems. Besides Theognis and Oxyrhynchus papy I picked this up after having translated a bit of lyric poetry in Greek. I was interested in seeing a collection of extant early Greek poetry. There were several poets whose works I quite enjoyed. Mimnermus, Alcman, Alcaeus, Theognis, Anacreon, Hipponax, and Xenophanes were my favorites. There was some really interesting insight into the social and political scene. I really wish there was a translation that discussed the contexts for the fragments and poems. Besides Theognis and Oxyrhynchus papyri that just wasn't present. But that's just me being interested in how these poems survived

  13. 5 out of 5

    Phillip

    There are some fragments and sections of poems here I really found beautiful, but so many of the fragments are tiny that I don't really know what to make of them. I suppose I need a proper Classics education to learn to read fragments. But some of them are just really banal, more like notes to oneself, descriptions, or even insults. Perhaps because most of the fragments are only 1-2 lines long, I just don't really know what to make of them. There are two themes I found really interesting that eme There are some fragments and sections of poems here I really found beautiful, but so many of the fragments are tiny that I don't really know what to make of them. I suppose I need a proper Classics education to learn to read fragments. But some of them are just really banal, more like notes to oneself, descriptions, or even insults. Perhaps because most of the fragments are only 1-2 lines long, I just don't really know what to make of them. There are two themes I found really interesting that emerged over a wide range of the fragments though. One was the use of myth and history essentially as equal sources of knowledge and wisdom. There are references to contemporary figures--politicians, tyrants, great warriors, cowards, and so on--alongside references to heroic figures from the Trojan War. The status of each group is roughly equivalent, with moral lessons being drawn from each equally. The other thing I found really interesting is how openly and continually the poets talk about pederasty. Male poets write extensively about the beauty of young men, even writing almost obsessional love poems in some cases. The beautiful young man is often presented in contrast to the aging poet. This is really striking to read from the perspective of a culture still deeply riven by homophobia, and with a centuries long history of persecuting gay men, lesbians, and other LGBT people. For all the homophobic talk about "traditional families" and what all, it's really striking how open these poets were, and how much they clearly glorified these same-sex relationships (granted that in ancient Greece they didn't have the concept of sexual orientation as an identity category, so these poets wouldn't have identified as gay, even though they wrote about having sex with young men--the action of having sex or the experience of sexual desire wasn't seen as tied to and constitutive of one's identity in the way that it is today).

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lukerik

    A few years ago I thought I would quickly read Republic. This tactical error has lead to an obsession with Greek literature and I am now scraping the barrel with this anthology in a desperate attempt to find new material. It basically contains every extant Greek lyric from before 450BC with the exception of Pindar and Bacchylides. Some authors are suurvived by only a single line of verse which is sad, but also frustrating as it's impossible to get any clear idea of who they were. Others do come A few years ago I thought I would quickly read Republic. This tactical error has lead to an obsession with Greek literature and I am now scraping the barrel with this anthology in a desperate attempt to find new material. It basically contains every extant Greek lyric from before 450BC with the exception of Pindar and Bacchylides. Some authors are suurvived by only a single line of verse which is sad, but also frustrating as it's impossible to get any clear idea of who they were. Others do come across clearly and there's some really beautiful stuff. Sappho is of particular interest as her enormous reputation today is based on such a slender number of verses. Recommended for anyone who must read everything by the ancient Greeks or for those who want an overview of what sort of work they were producing. Clear translations and sensible notes. For what it is, I cannot find fault with it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kārlis

    A lovely collection of many diverse poems with topics dealing from drinking, symposia and love to farming and politics. It's mostly very fun to read and laugh at/along with the poets' views of the structure of society, including the role of women (O Semonides, you rascal), but sometimes it was very difficult to follow because of the numerous blanks and guessed meanings in the poems that were not preserved as well. A lovely collection of many diverse poems with topics dealing from drinking, symposia and love to farming and politics. It's mostly very fun to read and laugh at/along with the poets' views of the structure of society, including the role of women (O Semonides, you rascal), but sometimes it was very difficult to follow because of the numerous blanks and guessed meanings in the poems that were not preserved as well.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    Read for my History 501.01 Archaic Greek History class. Decently interesting. The translations seemed to read pretty well, although I don't really have anything to compare them to. Did seem to have British influence. Read for my History 501.01 Archaic Greek History class. Decently interesting. The translations seemed to read pretty well, although I don't really have anything to compare them to. Did seem to have British influence.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    I loved this translation. I have read some of these in their original Greek (or tried, that Aeolic dialect were too much for me in class). M.L. West is great here, these verses are really polished and well written.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mark Noce

    Archilocus in particular is terse but amazing.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rosie

    liked the concise, non-scholarly intro by West and the footnotes, which weren't excessive. This book does a good job in making these fragments accessible to the average reader (me). liked the concise, non-scholarly intro by West and the footnotes, which weren't excessive. This book does a good job in making these fragments accessible to the average reader (me).

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Read excerpts for Classical Foundations of the Nature Writing Tradition class. Interesting enough, but poetry isn't really my thing. Read excerpts for Classical Foundations of the Nature Writing Tradition class. Interesting enough, but poetry isn't really my thing.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lyana Rodriguez

    3.5 stars. This makes me want to read even more Greek poetry, even if it's not my absolute favorite. I especially enjoyed poets like Sappho and Hipponax. 3.5 stars. This makes me want to read even more Greek poetry, even if it's not my absolute favorite. I especially enjoyed poets like Sappho and Hipponax.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kjǫlsigʀ

    Elegant, light, and piercing translations of lyric verses amongst Hellas' finest. Elegant, light, and piercing translations of lyric verses amongst Hellas' finest.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Spuckler

    Great collection of Greek poetry ranging from the 7th Century through the 5th Century BC. A period when gods, goddess, and the underlings were central players in life. There are pleas to the gods and thanks as well. Archilochus, however, finds writing erotica a better use of time. Simonides uses the god's creation of women and ties it to different animals in a very unflattering way. The collection covers wars, pointers for daily life, and even drinking songs. Not all poet’s works are complete se Great collection of Greek poetry ranging from the 7th Century through the 5th Century BC. A period when gods, goddess, and the underlings were central players in life. There are pleas to the gods and thanks as well. Archilochus, however, finds writing erotica a better use of time. Simonides uses the god's creation of women and ties it to different animals in a very unflattering way. The collection covers wars, pointers for daily life, and even drinking songs. Not all poet’s works are complete several, including Sappho, contain only fragments of what has survived. Also several of the poems have lines or works filled in where missing. Perhaps what is most surprising is how much we still have today even after the destruction of the library at Alexandria.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Webster

    I find it crazy to hear from Ancients and realise how much more similar they were to us than some more recent civilisations, but then you’re hit with something quite horrible and you remember that we aren’t the same. This book is a collection of Ancient Greek poetry post Homer. It’s a bit odd because sometimes you get a really long one and then sometimes it’s just a fragment of three words. It’s kind of difficult to connect with them because there are so many and you just go from topic to topic I find it crazy to hear from Ancients and realise how much more similar they were to us than some more recent civilisations, but then you’re hit with something quite horrible and you remember that we aren’t the same. This book is a collection of Ancient Greek poetry post Homer. It’s a bit odd because sometimes you get a really long one and then sometimes it’s just a fragment of three words. It’s kind of difficult to connect with them because there are so many and you just go from topic to topic with what feels like just parts of a sentence. But I think it’s going to be interesting to study further in depth this semester and there were definitely parts I identified with, or laughed in shock at.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Felix

    Love shakes my heart like the wind rushing down on the mountain oaks. You came, and I needed you, and you cooled the fever of longing that racked my heart.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    I don't know why I thought I'd like this. I hate poetry and I hate the Ancient Greeks. I don't know why I thought I'd like this. I hate poetry and I hate the Ancient Greeks.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Leah Hart

    Favourite sentence was Anacreon's 'Herotima, you public, public road.' I feel like there's a story there. Favourite sentence was Anacreon's 'Herotima, you public, public road.' I feel like there's a story there.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    West provides an engaging translation with a helpful introduction and endnotes. Recommended.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Phoebe ❗️

    Love a good bit of sappho

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    "Poets say much that's false" Solon, fragment 29 "Poets say much that's false" Solon, fragment 29

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