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Anacreon fr. 358

February 13, 2012

σφαίρῃ δηὖτέ με πορφυρῇ
βάλλων χρυσοκόμης Ἔρως
νήνι ποικιλοσαμβάλῳ
συμπαίζειν προκαλεῖται.
ἡ δ’, ἐστὶν γὰρ ἀπ’ εὐκτίτου
Λέσβου, τὴν μέν ἐμὴν κόμην,
λευκὴ γάρ, καταμέμφεται,
πρὸς δ’ ἄλλην τινὰ χάσκει

Again he throws a purple ball
and hits me, Eros golden-hair,
αnd there’s a girl in flashy heels
he’s calling me to play with.

But she — ’cause she’s from well-designed
Lesbos — takes issue with my hair
(it’s white) and passing by she drools
after another woman.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 13, 2012 10:34 am

    Anyone who’s interested in this poem (and has access to JSTOR) should check this out:
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/4433084

    I dunno if I agree with him, but he has a bunch of interesting ideas and gives a REALLY thorough history of the poem’s tumultuous critical past. Particularly interesting is note 66, where he cites note 3 from https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/handle/2142/13030 — one should keep in mind, reading this poem, that there is absolutely nothing (besides the fact that the poem comes down to us under the name “Anacreon”) to indicate the gender of the speaker here. (I don’t know whether the rest of the latter article is good; it looks like a really interesting polemic, but I need to see if I can get some sleep before my Sanskrit midterm tomorrow instead of getting sucked further into the fascinating bibliography on this little poem.)

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