By Burton Raffel
“For there's certainly whatever we will be able to name the spirit of old Greece–a rigorously tuned voice that speaks out of the grave with incredible readability and charm , a particular voice that, taken as an entire, is like no different voice that has ever sung in this earth.”
–BURTON RAFFEL, from his Preface
For centuries, the poetry of Homer, Aristophanes, Sophocles, Sappho, and Archilochus has served as certainly one of our basic technique of connecting with the absolutely vanished global of old Greece. however the works of diverse different nice and prolific poets–Alkaios, Meleager, and Simonides, to call a few–are not often translated into English , and are principally unknown to fashionable readers. In Pure Pagan, award-winning translator Burton Raffel brings those and lots of different clever and witty historic Greek writers to an English-speaking viewers for the 1st time, in complete poetic flower. Their funny and philosophical ruminations create a brilliant portrait of daily life in old Greece –and they're phenomenally gorgeous as well.
In brief, sharp bursts of track, those two-thousand-year-old poems talk about the undying concerns of daily life:
Wine (Wine is the medicine / To demand, the simplest medicine / To drink deep, deep)
History (Not us: no. / It started with our fathers, / I’ve heard).
Movers and shakers (If a guy shakes free stones / To make a wall with / Stones may well fall on his head / Instead)
Old age (Old age is a debt we love to be owed / Not one we love to collect)
Frankness (Speak / As you please / And pay attention what can never / Please).
There also are incredible epigrams (Take what you've whenever you have it: you’ll lose it quickly enough. / A unmarried summer time turns a child right into a shaggy goat) and epitaphs (Here I lie, underneath this stone, the well-known girl who untied her belt for just one man).
The entrancing good looks, humor, and piercing readability of those poems will draw readers into the Greeks’ trips to international lands, their bacchanalian events and ferocious battles, in addition to into the extra intimate settings in their kitchens and bedrooms. The poetry of Pure Pagan unearths the traditional Greeks’ desires, their humorousness, sorrows, triumphs, and their such a lot deeply held values, fleshing out our knowing of and appreciation for this interesting civilization and its creative legacy.
From the Hardcover edition.
Read Online or Download Pure Pagan: Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments (Modern Library Classics) PDF
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Additional resources for Pure Pagan: Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments (Modern Library Classics)
PERSES “On Pregnancy”: Paton, vol. I, p. 444, #272. PHALAECUS “The Sea and the Land”: Paton, vol. II, p. 346, #650. PHILODEMUS “A Girl’s Speech”: Paton, vol. I, p. 292, #306. “Rendezvous”: Paton, vol. I, p. 184, #120. PHOCYLIDES “The Lerians”: Trypanis I, p. 156, #70. PLATO “A Cautionary Tale”: Paton, vol. III, p. 24, #44. “An Epitaph”: Paton, vol. II, p. 146, #265. “On Love”: Paton, vol. I, p. 166, #80. “The Eretrian Dead”: Trypanis I, p. 276, #136. “Time”: Paton, vol. III, p. 28, #51. POSIDIPPUS “Party Preparations”: Paton, vol. I, p. 218, #183. SIMONIDES “An Epitaph”: Paton, vol. II, p. 142, #254A. “Epitaph for a Workman”: Paton, vol. II, p. 276, #507A. “How to Tell”: Lyra Graeca, vol. II, p. 333, #90. “On His Spear”: Paton, vol. I, p. 326, #52. “Sailors”: Paton, vol. II, p. 148, #270. “The Defenders of Tegea”: Trypanis I, p. 166, #86. “Timon”: Paton, vol. II, p. 187, #348. TERPANDER “Of Sparta”: Lobel and web page, #941. “To Apollo”: Lyra Graeca, vol. 1, p. 31, #2. “To Zeus”: Lobel and web page, #698. THEODORIDAS “An Epitaph”: Paton, vol. II, p. 154, #282. “Euphorion”: Paton, vol. II, p. 218, #406. in regards to the TRANSLATOR BURTON RAFFEL is exotic professor emeritus of arts and arts on the collage of Louisiana at Lafayette. His many translations contain Stendhal’s The purple and the Black, for the trendy Library; Rabelais’s Gargantua and Pantagruel, winner of the 1991 French-American origin Translation Prize; Chrétien de Troyes’s 5 Arthurian romances; Cervantes’s Don Quijote; Balzac’s Père Goriot; and Beowulf, his model of which has bought greater than one million copies. the fashionable LIBRARY EDITORIAL BOARD Maya Angelou A. S. Byatt Caleb Carr Christopher Cerf Charles Frazier Vartan Gregorian Richard Howard Charles Johnson Jon Krakauer Edmund Morris Azar Nafisi Joyce Carol Oates Elaine Pagels John Richardson Salman Rushdie Oliver Sacks Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Carolyn See William Styron Gore Vidal concerning the POETS ALKAIOS: Born approximately 620 B. C. Resident of Mytilene, significant urban at the island of Lesbos (where Sappho additionally lived). Deeply occupied with politics, he fought unsuccessfully opposed to the tyrant then ruling the island and fled to Egypt. He finally lower back and reconciled with the ruler. loss of life date unknown. ALKMAN: Flourished 654–611 B. C. Resided in Sparta yet could have been born in Lydia. he's acknowledged to were a slave, published due to his poetic talents. so much of his paintings is misplaced. ANTIPATER OF SIDON: Flourished approximately a hundred and twenty B. C. No different info to be had. ANTIPATER OF THESSALONIKA: overdue first century B. C. ; identified to were alive and writing at a few. D. 12–15. He have been linked to and prior (11 B. C. ) supported by way of a Roman statesman who can also have patronized the good Latin poet Horace. Horace’s Ars Poetica could have been composed for this patron’s sons. ANYTE: Early 3rd century B. C. recognized to have translated Sappho (whose dialect used to be tricky for “modern” Greeks, after 400 years). She can also be identified to have pioneered the making of epitaphs for animals and used to be one of the first to jot down pastorally approximately nondomesticated nature.