Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sappho
Only a handful of details are known about the life of Sappho....
More >
Want more poems?
Subscribe to our
Poem-A-Day emails.
FURTHER READING
Related Poems
The Anactoria Poem
by Sappho
Related Prose
An ABC of Translating Poetry
by Willis Barnstone
Poetic Form: Sapphic
Other Sapphics
The Anactoria Poem
by Sappho, read by Jim Powell
[In my eyes he matches the gods]
by Sappho, read by Jim Powell
[Like the very gods]
by Sappho
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print

The Anactoria Poem

 
by Sappho
edited by Richard Lattimore

Some there are who say that the fairest thing seen 
on the black earth is an array of horsemen;
some, men marching; some would say ships; but I say
          she whom one loves best

is the loveliest. Light were the work to make this 
plain to all, since she, who surpassed in beauty
all mortality, Helen, once forsaking
          her lordly husband,

fled away to Troy--land across the water. 
Not the thought of child nor beloved parents 
was remembered, after the Queen of Cyprus
          won her at first sight.

Since young brides have hearts that can be persuaded 
easily, light things, palpitant to passion
as am I, remembering Anaktória
          who has gone from me

and whose lovely walk and the shining pallor
of her face I would rather see before my 
eyes than Lydia's chariots in all their glory
          armored for battle.






Reprinted from Greek Lyrics, edited by Richmond Lattimore, published by the University of Chicago Press, copyright © 1949, 1960 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair use provisions of US and international copyright law and agreement, and it may be archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that this entire notice, including copyright information, is carried and provided that the University of Chicago Press is notified and no fee is charged for access. Archiving, redistribution or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires both the consent of the author(s) and the University of Chicago Press.
Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.