The Pocket Sappho

The Pocket Sappho

Willis Barnstone


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A vivid, contemporary translation of the greatest Greek love poet by the prize-winning poet and translator.

Sappho’s lyric love poems, composed in the seventh century B.C.E., transcend time and place and continue to enchant readers today. Though her extant work consists only of a collection of fragments and a handful of complete poems, the passionate elegance of her musings on life and death, loss and longing, desire, and nature speak volumes.
Willis Barnstone’s vivid, contemporary translation, along with his introduction and notes, sheds new light on the spirit and mystique of this ancient Greek poet.

This edition is an abridgment of The Complete Poems of Sappho.


Willis Barnstone:
Willis Barnstone, PhD, former O'Connor Professor of Greek at Colgate University, is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University. A Guggenheim Fellow, poet, scholar, and memoirist, his many books include The Poetics of TranslationThe Other BibleThe New CovenantWith Borges on an Ordinary Evening in Buenos AiresLife WatchBorder of a Dream: The Poems of Antonio Machado, and The Gnostic Bible (with Marvin Meyer). He has received numerous awards for his work, among them the Emily Dickinson Award, the W. H. Auden Award, and a PEN/Book-of-the-Month-Club Special Citation for translation. His most recent book is The Gnostic Bible (with Marvin Meyer).