Poem Sappho

Supreme Sight on the Black Earth

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Some say cavalry and others claim
infantry or a fleet of long oars
is the supreme sight on the black earth.
             I say it is

the one you love. And easily proved.
Didn’t Helen, who far surpassed
all in beauty, desert the best of men
             her husband and king

and sail off to Troy and forget
her daughter and dear parents? Merely
love’s gaze made her bend
             and led her

from her path.
These tales
remind me now of Anaktoria
             who is gone.

And I would rather see her supple step
and motion of light on her face
than chariots of the Lydians or ranks
             of foot soldiers in bronze.

Now this is impossible
yet among the living I pray for a share

unexpectedly.

Encounter
Alone

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