Sappho
Fragment 31
 

He seems like a god to me, that man.
His face borrows light from yours. He shines
at the lift of your voice, the softness
of your words,

your laughter tensing his ear. My heart
breaks loose as your shoulders lightly shake—
it hurts when it hits against the cage
of my ribs—

but how can I say it? My tongue splits,
fire runs under, over and under
my skin. My eyes fill with light until
I can see

nothing. My ears throb, sweat drops prickle,
shivers seize me until I'm wrung dry
as parched grass, paling, paler green even
than death
 

Translated by Caitlin Doyle

 

Phainetai moi kenos isos theoisin
emmen'oner, hottis enantios toi
isdanei kai plasion adu phonei-
sas upakouei

kai gelaisas imeroën, to m'e man
kardian en stethesin eptoaisen.
Os gar es s'ido broche', os me phonai-
s'oud'en et'eikei,

alla kam men glossa m'eäge, lepton
d'autika chro pur upadedromeken,
oppatessi d'oud'en oremm', epirrhom-
beisi d'akouai,

kad de m'idros kakcheëtai, tromos de
paisan agrei, chlorotera de poias
emmi, tethnaken d'oiligo 'pideues
phainom'em auta.

Alla pan tolmaton epei kai peneta...

 

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