One Girl by Sappho

One Girl by Sappho, translated by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

This poem is translated by Christina Rossetti’s brother. (internal link) He translates a lyric from, as he put it, “The Isles of Greece! Where burning Sappho loved and sung.”

One Girl

Like the sweet apple which reddens upon the topmost bough,
Atop on the topmost twig, — which the pluckers forgot, somehow, —
Forget it not, nay; but got it not, for none could get it till now.

Like the wild hyacinth flower which on the hills is found,
Which the passing feet of the shepherds for ever tear and wound,
Until the purple blossom is trodden in the ground.

Read by Ghizela Rowe: https://www.amazon.com/Sappho-One-Girl/dp/B00U1NUWYA

Why did Sappho choose hyacinths?  This page says ancient Greeks considered hyacinth bulbs an aphrodisiac:

The Shepherd and the Olive Tree: Notes and recipes from the Peloponnese Peninsula (external link)


A vigorous rebuke of the recent and nonsensical notion that Sappho was a man:

About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer specializing in outdoor subjects, particularly rocks, gems and minerals.
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