Come Close by Sappho
Little Black Classics, February 26th 2015
Rating: 4/5 stars
Come Close is a collection of poems written by Greek lyric poet Sappho, born on Lesbos, and was said to have died around 570 BCE. This was my third for the 2016 Classics Challenge, held by Stacey/prettybooks.
WHEN I Discovered This Classic
I found out about Sappho several months ago while I was catching up with Jean’s videos on YouTube. I really recommend Jean, she’s one of my favourite Booktubers!
WHY I Chose to Read It
I adore all LGBT+ literature, and when I found out that Sappho was a lesbian, which some of her work is influenced by, I had to pick this up! I also wanted to make sure I enjoyed her work before picking up a larger collection and, seeing as this was only 80p, I thought this was the best route.
WHAT Makes It A Classic
Well, it’s very old. I can’t really say much other than its age, unfortunately, other than the fact that it’s analysed critically and scholars study it, which they tend to do with classics.
WHAT I Thought of This Classic
It’s really difficult trying to narrow down my thoughts on this classic without giving an example of her poetry. So here’s my favourite poem in this collection:
I loved you once, years ago, Atthis,
When your flower was in place.
You seemed a gawky girl then, artless,
Atthis, you looked at what I was,
And hated what you saw
And now, all in flutter, chase
I can’t really place why this was my favourite of the collection. There’s something serene, beautiful, about her writing, but also quite solemn, a tone that I love in poetry in particular. The beauty of her writing actually wants to make me pick up a larger collection, and read more about her life. The reason I didn’t give this a complete five stars is because I feel like this is too short a collection, that doesn’t show the full extent of her poetry, but I definitely give what I have read so far five stars.
WILL It Stay A Classic
The fact that her poetry is still being studied and interpreted despite so much of it being lost shows that it’s still valued in the study of antiquity.
WHO I’d Recommend It To
I would recommend this to people who study antiquity and want to get an earlier look at Greek literature if they are thinking of studying antiquity. I also think people who enjoy poetry should read this because it’s absolutely beautiful, and anyone else looking for a smaller read.
My next classic for the challenge will be either Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, or Naked Lunch by William Burroughs. I’m approaching exams so I’ll most likely start binge reading when I have the time, although I’m also starting part time work so that will take up a lot of free time that I have.