Welcome to the first Wild Friday at Poets United! Starting today, we will be dedicating the second Friday of the month to topics touched by poetry — it can be about a particular poem, a poetry book or something that is happening in the poetry world.
The second Fridays will be wild! I hope to pleasantly surprise you with something that we all will enjoy doing together. On that note let us dive into today's prompt:
In a world dominated by men, it was rare to see a woman in ancient times to wield such power in writing. Sappho's songs were regarded as outstanding, so revered was she that the people of those times referred to her as the "Tenth Muse," and her songs were passed down over centuries inspiring generations of Poets, none of whom managed to replicate her command of metre and sensual artistry.
So, where did Sappho come from? Her estimated birth date places her sometime after the composition and transmission of the works of the Homeric Poets, which told stories of the Trojan War and are preserved in the epics known as the 'Iliad,' and the 'Odyssey.'
In my eyes he matches the gods
In my eyes he matches the gods, that man who
sits there facing you--any man whatever--
listening from close by to the sweetness of your
voice as you talk, the
sweetness of your laughter: yes, that--I swear it--
sets the heart to shaking inside my breast, since
once I look at you for a moment, I can't
speak any longer,
but my tongue breaks down, and then all at once a
subtle fire races inside my skin, my
eyes can't see a thing and a whirring whistle
thrums at my hearing,
cold sweat covers me and a trembling takes
a hold of me all over: I'm greener than the
grass is and appear to myself to be little
short of dying.
But all must be endured, since even a poor [
When I first came across and read this poem I was blown away by the intensity of the emotions that adorned each and every word, placed carefully and with such precision so as to capture the reader's attention.
Sappho's poem puts me in the mind of love, eros and jealousy. The poem as we have it is apparently incomplete as there is the beginning of an additional line at the end ("But all must be endured... ") Most translators have ignored this fragment and concluded with the previous line, but a few modern ones include it.
Which brings me to question: what could have been the conclusion? What more could have been said? The fact that the poem is incomplete leaves much to be contemplated and adds a certain level of mystery. I remember reading and re-reading this poem and each time marveling at the possibility of there having been at least one more stanza in completing it.
So, for our first Wild Friday at Poets United, I invite you to write poetry and offer the following two options:
1) Find a poem which is also incomplete and write a response poem that works like an ending for your choice.
2) Or if you don't feel like finding a different poem then use Sappho's.
Add the direct link to your poem to Mr Linky. Remember to visit others and to comment on their work. I look forward to reading what you all come up with. Have fun!