Pure Pagan Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments Modern Library For there is indeed something we can call the spirit of ancient Greece a carefully tuned voice that speaks out of the grave with astonishing clarity and grace a distinctive voice that taken as a wh

  • Title: Pure Pagan: Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments (Modern Library)
  • Author: Burton Raffel Guy Davenport
  • ISBN: 9780679642978
  • Page: 384
  • Format: Hardcover
  • For there is indeed something we can call the spirit of ancient Greece a carefully tuned voice that speaks out of the grave with astonishing clarity and grace , a distinctive voice that, taken as a whole, is like no other voice that has ever sung on this earth BURTON RAFFEL, from his PrefaceFor centuries, the poetry of Homer, Aristophanes, Sophocles, Sappho, and Archilo For there is indeed something we can call the spirit of ancient Greece a carefully tuned voice that speaks out of the grave with astonishing clarity and grace , a distinctive voice that, taken as a whole, is like no other voice that has ever sung on this earth BURTON RAFFEL, from his PrefaceFor centuries, the poetry of Homer, Aristophanes, Sophocles, Sappho, and Archilochus has served as one of our primary means of connecting with the wholly vanished world of ancient Greece But the works of numerous other great and prolific poets Alkaios, Meleager, and Simonides, to name a few are rarely translated into English , and are largely unknown to modern readers In Pure Pagan, award winning translator Burton Raffel brings these and many other wise and witty ancient Greek writers to an English speaking audience for the first time, in full poetic flower Their humorous and philosophical ruminations create a vivid portrait of everyday life in ancient Greece and they are phenomenally lovely as well.In short, sharp bursts of song, these two thousand year old poems speak about the timeless matters of everyday life Wine Wine is the medicine To call for, the best medicine To drink deep, deep History Not us no It began with our fathers, I ve heard Movers and shakers If a man shakes loose stones To make a wall with Stones may fall on his head Instead Old age Old age is a debt we like to be owed Not one we like to collect Frankness Speak As you please And hear what can never Please.There are also wonderful epigrams Take what you have while you have it you ll lose it soon enough A single summer turns a kid into a shaggy goat and epitaphs Here I lie, beneath this stone, the famous woman who untied her belt for only one man.The entrancing beauty, humor, and piercing clarity of these poems will draw readers into the Greeks journeys to foreign lands, their bacchanalian parties and ferocious battles, as well as into the intimate settings of their kitchens and bedrooms The poetry of Pure Pagan reveals the ancient Greeks dreams, their sense of humor, sorrows, triumphs, and their most deeply held values, fleshing out our understanding of and appreciation for this fascinating civilization and its artistic legacy.

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    About "Burton Raffel Guy Davenport"

    1. Burton Raffel Guy Davenport

      Burton Raffel born 1928 is a translator, a poet and a teacher He has translated many poems, including the Anglo Saxon epic Beowulf.

    263 thoughts on “Pure Pagan: Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments (Modern Library)”

    1. Nota bene I have combined the reviews of three books into one and used the same review for each So if you have read one, you have read all three Meleager brings you his lamp, O Venus,For it knows how he celebrates you in the dark The Greek Anthology is an unusual text with roots in an anthology of epigrams first compiled by Meleager of Gadara in the 1st century BCE and supplemented over the centuries by various editors compilers until it contained over 4,000 poems of various length and type incl [...]


    2. Two that stood outKAIOS I loathe Love, wasting his arrows on meInstead of aiming at huge wild beasts.Do gods win glory by burning up men Is my head a noble trophy to hang from his belt MENANDER To learn just who you areLook at tombs as you walk.They hold the bones, the powdered dustOf kings and tyrants, of wise men,Of men proud of their noble fathers,Of men glorying in their gold and their gloryAnd their beautiful bodies.And when the time cameWhat protected them against death Nothing Everyone li [...]


    3. ALKAIOSHISTORYNot us no.It began with our fathers,I ve heardILOSOPHYNothingWillComeOfAnythingKMANFATE AND NECESSITYThe threadRuns thin,The needRuns hard,HardT APHRODITE, NONot Aphrodite, no But like a child,Wild, Love comes down,Almost as though walking on flowers But should not touch them,Should not,NoE PEAKS ARE ASLEEPThe peaksare asleepAnd gulleysAnd ravinesare asleepAnd creeping thingsOut of the dark earthAnd the beasts on the hillsare asleepAnd bees, all beesAnd monsters deep in the seaare [...]


    4. There are a few gems in here I would say my favorites are the poems by Callimachus There are a number of these short collections that each purport to some unique spin on the lyric genrea As it stands I haven t found a really large collection other than what is available in the Loeb series The introductory essay in this edition is really worth your time In it some very interesting points were raised about, and I am paraphrasing that man is the animal that has tamed himself, through civilization, [...]


    5. AlkaiosTrue LuxuryAnd the sky god pours down rain,And the clouds whirl, and rivers freeze So keep your fire highAnd pour out honey sweet wineAnd lie backWith a pillow on this side,And a pillow on that side.AnonymousEpigramTake what you have while you have it you ll lose it soon enough.A single summer turns a kid into a shaggy goat.On HomerLet Homer be worshiped as a god, if he is a god.But if not a god, let him appear godlike all the same.AratusIn the BeginningBegin with Zeus, on every man s lip [...]


    6. Quick afternoon read This entire collection of Greek fragments could be put into this review block without passing the character limit Some of these are incredibly depressing Friends My friends are nothing,And I weep for them,And for me some are introspective, He lived by his sling,Hunting winged geese, Creeping silently upAs they fed, watching on every sideBut not seeing him.He lived poor, he died poor.Now he lives in the darknessAnd his sling hangs motionless,No hand to whirl itSwift and sure [...]


    7. I don t know why so many little pocket sized selections of the Greek Anthology exist but you can t just buy the Greek Anthology itself, even in separate volumes Oh well It s not like I don t really like any of the selections I ve read.


    8. A sweet little collection of Greek epigrammatic poetry My only complaint is that there is no facing Greek text or critical notes I know that the intended broad audience doesn t necessarily want those things, but, well, some of us do


    9. This is a wonderful collection of translations of ancient Greek poems much of it surprisingly funny, although other works offer insight into melancholy topics such as mortality, etc I found this book of poetry a pleasure to read and would strongly recommend it to anyone interested in an immediate and bracing passport to classical antiquity


    10. Picked this up at Half Price Books for 6 Translations and style owe much to Mary Barnard s translation of Sappho s poem fragments she, of course, was greatly influenced by Ezra Pound.The foreward was also particularly good.



    11. a lovely rendering of fragments Some fabulous ones A magnificent doctor s waiting room read waiting fr the cancer test results PUts things in perspective.



    12. A pleasurable selection and translation, brief enough to have the reader longing for The introduction by Guy Davenport is worth a look, too.


    13. This is one of those books that I just keep turning to It has such an interesting mix of the sacred and profane poetry.


    14. The fragments chosen and the translations were a little disappointing Still, the book was interesting and short enough to finish easily.


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