Poetry Corner: Sappho – Summer

The ancient Greek poet Sappho was born on the island of Lesbos around 620 BCE, probably to an aristocratic family. She was highly admired in antiquity and the library at Alexandria held nine volumes of her work. Only a fraction of her total body of work remains today, mostly in fragments.

Slumber streams from quivering leaves that listless
Bask in heat and stillness of Lesbian summer;
Breathless swoons the air with the apple-blossoms’
Delicate odor;

From the shade of branches that droop and cover
Shallow trenches winding about the orchard,
Restful comes, and cool to the sense, the flowing
Murmur of water.

Reprinted from The Poems of Sappho: an Interpretative Rendition into English, translator: John Myers O’Hara


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