By Burton Raffel
“For there's certainly whatever we will name the spirit of historic Greece–a rigorously tuned voice that speaks out of the grave with marvelous readability and beauty , a particular voice that, taken as a complete, 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 considered one of our basic technique of connecting with the fully vanished international of old Greece. however the works of diverse different nice and prolific poets–Alkaios, Meleager, and Simonides, to call a few–are hardly ever 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 historical Greek writers to an English-speaking viewers for the 1st time, in complete poetic flower. Their funny and philosophical ruminations create a vibrant portrait of lifestyle in historical Greece –and they're phenomenally gorgeous as well.
In brief, sharp bursts of music, those two-thousand-year-old poems discuss 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 unfastened stones / To make a wall with / Stones may well fall on his head / Instead)
Old age (Old age is a debt we adore to be owed / Not one we adore to collect)
Frankness (Speak / As you please / And pay attention what can never / Please).
There also are amazing epigrams (Take what you might have once 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 recognized lady who untied her belt for just one man).
The entrancing attractiveness, humor, and piercing readability of those poems will draw readers into the Greeks’ trips to overseas 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 finds the traditional Greeks’ desires, their humorousness, sorrows, triumphs, and their so much deeply held values, fleshing out our figuring out of and appreciation for this attention-grabbing civilization and its inventive legacy.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Extra info for Pure Pagan: Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments (Modern Library Classics)
2005 smooth Library Paperback variation Translation and preface copyright � 2004 by means of Burton Raffel advent copyright � 2004 by means of man Davenport All rights reserved. released within the usa via sleek Library, an imprint of The Random condo Publishing workforce, a department of Random condominium, Inc. , manhattan. glossy LIBRARY and the TORCHBEARER layout are registered logos of Random condominium, Inc. The map on web page xxviii initially seemed at the obverse of the contents web page within the Legacy of Greece: a brand new Appraisal, edited by means of M. I. Finley (1981), in a little range- ent shape and is reprinted right here by way of permission of Oxford college Press (U. ok. ). LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION facts natural pagan: seven centuries of Greek poems and fragments / chosen and translated by means of Burton Raffel; creation by means of man Davenport. p. cm. 1. Greek poetry—Translations into English. 2. Greece—Poetry. I. Raffel, Burton. PA3622R38 2004 881’. 0108—dc22 2003070646 www. modernlibrary. com www. randomhouse. com eISBN: 978-0-307-43164-6 v3.