He seems to me equal to gods that man
whoever he is who opposite you
sits and listens close
             to your sweet speaking

and lovely laughing—oh it
puts the heart in my chest on wings
for when I look at you, even a moment, no speaking
             is left in me

no: tongue breaks and thin
fire is racing under skin
and in eyes no sight and drumming
             fills ears

and cold sweat holds me and shaking
grips me all, greener than grass
I am and dead—or almost
             I seem to me.

But all is to be dared, because even a person of poverty

– Sappho. fragment 31

translated by Anne Carson

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