Monday, June 17, 2013

Juxtapositions: Sappho and Sidney

Albrecht Dürer: "The Northern Hemisphere" (ca. 1515)
Two fragments of Sappho (early 6th century BC):
ἔρος δ' ἐτίναξέ μοι
φρένας, ὠς ἄνεμος κὰτ' ὄρος δρύσιν ἐμπέτων (47) 
love shook my
senses, like wind on a mountain falling on oaks 
ἔρος δηὖτέ μ' ὀ λυσιμέλης δόνει,
γλυκύπικρον ἀμάχανον ὄρπετον (130) 
love already-again—the limb-melter—whirls me,
bittersweet irrational monster

Philip Sidney: Astrophil and Stella, Sonnet 16 (mid-1580s)
In nature apt to like when I did see
Beauties, which were of many carats fine,
My boiling sprites did thither soon incline,
And, Love, I thought that I was full of thee:
But finding not those restless flames in me,
Which others said did make their souls to pine,
I thought those babes of some pin's hurt did whine,
By my love judging what love's pain might be.
But while I thus with this young lion played,
Mine eyes (shall I say curst or blest?) beheld
Stella; now she is named, need more be said?
In her sight I a lesson new have spelled,
I now have learned Love right, and learned even so,
As who by being poisoned doth poison know.
Other juxtapositions:
Archilochus and Adrienne Rich 
George Herbert and John Berryman 
Walt Whitman and Wisława Szymborska 

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