He's like a god, I think, or maybe more
than gods, the man who's sitting next to you,
He gets to watch you. It is almost too
much that he hears your sweet laugh. I am poor
in spirit, Lesbia, because that sound
robs me of sense. It leaves me blind and dumb.
Soon deafness and paralysis will come.
I moan, and stagger, lie there on the ground
And that's just when you laugh. I cannot bear
to think of him, or you. And worse by far,
I know the truth, that all my problems are
trivial, and silly, lighter than the air
and yet great kingdoms fall through such as this,
an idle dreamer, longing for a kiss.
And here I am, somewhere near the half-way mark of this project - if you allow for the longer poems I have still to tackle. Now I have written a translation of Sappho's original, a translation of Catullus' translation of Sappho, and a poem about me translating him translating her...