Sappha – I Sleep Alone…

9 Jun

A lovely poem by an ancient Greek poetess Sappha who lived on the Isle of Lesbos and was famously called the “Tenth muse”, accompanied by a beautiful, magical painting of vivacious stars shining on the vibrant blue sky painted in psychedelic swirls. What seems to be an utter source of fascination for me, is that the same moon that Sappha had seen in those warm Mediterranean nights, is the same moon that Van Gogh had gazed at, in the absinthe-laced nights of Arles, or Percy Shelley, and look from your window, go for a late evening walk – you shall see the same lonely, bright, white face gazing at you with melancholic eyes, surrounded in glorious darkness, singing wistful songs to his nymphs the stars which flicker and flicker, until, consumed by their own light, they don’t vanish …. into eternity. We are but mortals, the moon – with no beginning or ending. So should one have pity for us mortals and our transience or for the Moon and his eternal loneliness?

Vincent van Gogh, Starry Night, 1889

“Well, the moon has set

And the Pleiades. It is the middle

Of the night. And the hour passes by,

But I sleep alone …….”

(Translated by Terry Walsh)

4 Responses to “Sappha – I Sleep Alone…”

  1. Lautreamont 15th Jun 2017 at 8:17 pm #

    Sappho now is it.That’s so cool. The Greeks and Romans are my faves. I want to see which songs you connect to Sophocles and Ovid. What music are you listening to these days? Moi it’s Spacemen3 and strangely a track by Lorde. “Where I am Death is not-Where Death is I am not” From memory I think that’s Lucretius.Cool though I thought.


    • Byron's Muse 16th Jun 2017 at 11:11 am #

      I remember you mentioned you loved Greeks and Romans before 🙂

      I like that – “Where I am Death is not…” Cool! What am I listening at the moment? Bruce Springsteen! No Surrender, Cover Me, I’m Goin Down, Downbound Train… I like how he romanticised the working class reality in his lyrics, and of course music is great too.


      • Lautreamont 17th Jun 2017 at 4:24 pm #

        I haven’t listened to Springsteen for years. I liked Darkness on the Edge of Town, Born to Run,and Nebraska,and I liked the bit of talking he did on Lou Reed’s Street Hassle. I think he influenced a whole lot of bands who don’t like to admit it. I know what you mean about his music and the working class.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Lautreamont 6th Jul 2017 at 3:52 pm #

          Just remembered it was Epicurus not Lucretius .Damn dontcha just hate it when that happens!

          Liked by 1 person

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