Sapphics

2007-02-05

Here's an intriguing idea for a book: a collection of poems in Sapphic meter. Sapphics are my favorite form (see Ancient Fire and Cobalt), and they've been wielded so deftly over the years -- by Sappho herself and her contemporary Alkaios in the original Greek, by Catullus and Horace in Latin, by the likes of Cowpers and Swinburne in English, by a number of German poets (Klopstock, Platen, Hamerling, Geibel, etc.), and by recent Anglo-American poets like John Hollander, Timothy Steele, A.E. Stallings, Rachel Hadas, James Merrill, Marilyn Hacker, and Rachel Wetzsteon. I feel like a poetic lepidopterist -- I think I'll start hunting sapphics today!


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