Some say cavalry and others claim


Some say cavalry and others claim
infantry or a fleet of long oars
is the supreme sight on the black earth.
I say it is

the one you love. And easily proved.
Did not Helen who far surpassed all
mortals in beauty desert the best
of men, her kin,

and sail off to Troy and forget
her daughter and dear kinsmen? Merely
the Kyprian's gaze made her bend and led
her from her path;

these things remind me now
of Anaktoria who is far,
and I
for one

would rather see her warm supple step
and the sparkle of her face than watch
all the dazzling chariots and armored
hoplites of Lydia.


       Greek; trans. Willis Barnstone


Sappho, Greek, trans. Willis Barnstone.