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News: Sappho
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Désespoir de Sapho [Sappho, Bion, Moschus], Chatillon, Henri Guillaume, ca. 1780–1856 Girodet-Trioson, Anne-Louis, 1767–1824, Engraving, 1829, The Getty.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

Playing Scrabble with Sappho

Introduction to Sappho Poetry Reading, with James N. Stone

Today, May 28, 2015, at 4.00 p.m., James N. Stone, educator, psychologist, and translator, will hold the first of two sessions on the poetry of Sappho at the Center for Hellenic Studies.

He introduces this first session as follows: This presentation offers a multi-dimensional show and tell of a celebrated archaic poet, a woman famous in her time (~650BC) whose poems come to us in fragile condition, her words and poems mutilated by time and decay, torn into papyrus strips, often indecipherable, and from a very distant past, about which we know very little. Her name is Sappho.

Even in fragmentary condition, the poetry of her fragments resonate—in the “original,” and in translation—with a deeply felt, sonorous, human, sensual, and visionary sensibility that has transcended cultural, temporal, linguistic, political, and sexual boundaries and constraints. For centuries, her forceful presence has defied the odds, captivating the devoted attention of scholars, archeologists, artists, poets, students, and readers from all walks of life.

Today we will explore the dynamics of her resilience through the lens of other great poets, the art of literary translation, the visual arts, and some of the innovative, and ground-breaking, perspectives of contemporary classical scholarship.

James N. Stone

Dr. James Stone is an educator, psychologist, and a distinguished translator of both ancient and modern Greek poetry. He is the recipient of the Robert Fitzgerald Translation Prize (Boston University), the Greek Translation Award (Columbia University), and a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to the Literary Translation Institute at the University of Santa Cruz, California.

Venue: The Center for Hellenic Studies, 3100 Whitehaven Street, NW. Washington, DC