A poem by Sappho

Sappho is one of my favorite poets, and every time I open my book of her poems, I’m always entranced by the ethereal, dreamlike nature of her work. Of course, Sappho’s work only exists in teeny fragments, but even though the verses are cut off at their knees, it’s still possible to understand the beauty and passion behind her work. Her voice is so raw, honest, and evocative. Her poems also remind me of spring, with images of nightingales, sunlight, the moon and stars, flowers and grass.

sappho1Here’s one of my absolute favorite poem fragments:

As Long As There Is Breath

You might wish
a little
to be carried off

you also know


and would say
I shall love     as long as there is breath in me
and care
I say I have been a strong lover

and know this

no matter
I shall love

from Sweetbitter Love: Poems of Sappho translated by Willis Barnstone