If Not, Winter
Fragments of Sappho
By Anne Carson; (Translator)
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375724510, 416pp.)
Publication Date: August 12, 2003
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Of the nine books of lyrics the ancient Greek poet Sappho is said to have composed, only one poem has survived complete. The rest are fragments. In this miraculous new translation, acclaimed poet and classicist Anne Carson presents all of Sappho’s fragments, in Greek and in English, as if on the ragged scraps of papyrus that preserve them, inviting a thrill of discovery and conjecture that can be described only as electric—or, to use Sappho’s words, as “thin fire . . . racing under skin.” By combining the ancient mysteries of Sappho with the contemporary wizardry of one of our most fearless and original poets, If Not, Winter provides a tantalizing window onto the genius of a woman whose lyric power spans millennia.
Anne Carson lives in Canada.
“[Sappho’s] verse has been elevated to new heights in [this] gorgeous translation.” —The New York Times
“This Sappho is whispering in our ear in a language we can understand.” —Time Out New York
“Carson is in many ways [Sappho’s] ideal translator. . . . Her command of language is honed to a perfect edge and her approach to the text, respectful yet imaginative, results in verse that lets Sappho shine forth.” —Los Angeles Times
“A selfless, faithful, and boldly delicate achievement.” —Boston Review