Monday, January 26, 2009

Sappho "love" poem from Restless.

I'm reading Sappho right now, for my literature class. She's a famous ancient Greek, known for her poems, many about nature and also love. But she doesn't seem to be that much into free will...

Let me tell you why I bring this up here, and not on a poem-forum or ancient Greek blog;

In Restless(Buffy, season 4), the dream episode, Willow writes something on Tara's back, that I think might have been a sign from Joss to us viewers of the future mind-violation in season 6.

It's the lines in blue that creeps me out the most;

Deathless Aphrodite on your lavish throne,
Enchantress, daughter of Zeus: I beg you, queen,
Do not overpower my soul with heartaches ,
and hard troubles,
But come here, if ever at another time
Having heard my voice you paid me attention
And leaving the golden house of your father
you came to me,
Yoking your horse and chariot: gorgeous swift
Sparrows carried you over the coal-black earth,
Thickly whirling their feathers through the midst of
heaven's ether.
Swiftly they arrived, and you, O blessed one,
Smiling with your immortal face, you asked for
What I suffered, and why again I call you
And what in my maddened soul I desire most
To happen to me: what dearest one shall I now
Persuade to lead you back to her — who, O Sappho,
wronged you this time?
For even if she flees, swiftly she will pursue;
And if she does not receive my gifts, she will give;
And if she does not love me, swiftly she will love,
Even against her will. So come to my aid now,
Release me from my grievous cares, fulfill as much
As my heart yearns to be fulfilled: come, be my

It was usual, back "in the day", to invoke the Gods for your... needs(like harvest, safe journeys and such). And you might be familiar with the stories of gods & goddesses taking what they want, women turning into trees to flee their pursuers and the concept of Aphrodite "helping" with your love life.

I do not looking forwards to reading more of Sappho's work. But it was a good way of showing us of Willow's future abuse(although it was years after the show ended that I read the translation of the poem). I'm not saying that Willow did a love spell on Tara, but who knows how many memory spells Willow had to perform to keep Tara. I definitly think this poem hit home.

This translation is just one of many tough, it must be, since the ancient greek is a very old and different language, and this poem has ben studied and probably translated by many.

I found this translation it here. But I also found this site with this translation;

Many colored throned immortal Aphrodite,
daughter of Zeus, wile-weaver,
I beg you with reproaches and harms do not beat down O Lady, my soul.

But come here, if ever at another time
My voice hearing, from afar
You have ear, and your father's home leaving
-- golden -- you came.

This translation is a bit different, and doesn't seem to have the whole poem. I'll e-mail the site owner and ask about this. Maybe, the first site was wrong and added to much and Willow's subconscious isn't so creepy. Maybe.

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