Home > Uncategorized > Sappho Fragment 1 Recitation

Sappho Fragment 1 Recitation

My recitation today went off pretty well. I love Eric’s challenge to always take an opportunity to perform seriously–not ever to make half-assed use of language, if you want to be serious about poetry. It pushed me to really get into the head of Sappho’s speaker and make sure my recitation was reflecting the meaning of the Greek, instead of being content with reciting without knowing the meaning fully. Performance nerves got in the way a bit, but I think I gave a dramatic spin to at least a few parts…

My favorites are the shift from “tas emas audas aiosa peloi“, where the participle is present and the peloi fills out the progressive aspect, to the dramatic (loose sense) aorist of “eklues” beginning the next line; the light, one might boldly say winged, touch of the light syllables “pter’ ap'” describing the sparrows in contrast with the long sounds of the (smushed together–technical term) “wranwther-os dia messw”; the running together of the plaintive question “tis s’ w Saph’ adikeiei;”; the forthright closing plea, “summachos esso.” 

I recited with understanding and performance work one of my favorite Sappho poems in the original Greek! Grinning so hard. This is, I think, a kind of pride baby-queer Jamie would adore, and more jaded queer Jamie can still dig, parades be damned.

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