Sappho - Brian Carr

Love and the Trick-Stitching Child

Everlasting Love rich in heaven’s chair,
trick-stitching child: don’t beat my heart
down with too much worry. Maiden,
I pray...
Come to my pied-à-terre if ever so many times over
I cried out for you so far away. You heard.
You believed. You left that golden palace.
You came
chauffeured. Sparrows! Beautiful swift sparrows
flapped you down to me on quick-trembling
wings over black earth. Straight through,
no wandering,
they were here in a flash. You! Like a sacrament
you smiled. Your face ageless, you asked
why again I suffered
why again I called
what my crazy heart really wants this time.
“Who again convince? What quick friendship
do you want? Who hurts you
this time?
Does she run? Then she’ll chase.
Didn’t like the gifts? Then she’ll give them.
She does not love? Soon.
No choice for her.”
Get here now! I’m strangling in worries!
Cut them. My heart wants so much!
Make it happen! This time,
fight on my side.

Translated by Brian Carr
Read by Cally Conan-Davies

Brian Carr first published this translation of Sappho at Agenda in the UK.