Rendering the Mellifluous

Judy Grahn had us reaching for the highest apple. But this picker did not at first notice this proverb preserved by Tryphon quoting the Lesbian poet until taking note of its placement by Stanley Lombardo (2002) who sets it as number 39 in his selection (Sappho: poems and fragments] — rearranging the order out of David Campbell’s 1982 Loeb edition (“Having translated these pieces, I felt compelled to order and arrange them into a collection with some kind of esthetic coherence.”). He gives us

For me neither honey nor the honey bee

Neither sweet nor sting?

I leave you to discover the comb — the matrix — that Lombardo builds round this fragment which escapes the cloying two liner by A.S. Kline.

Neither for me the honey
Nor the honeybee…

Lombardo’s assonance achieves through sound an image of the honey comb’s hexagonal cells.

Jim Powell (2007) renders it in three lines

For me
neither the honey
nor the bee.

Which with its end rhymes comes close. But Lombardo’s repeated “honey” buzzes and drizzles sweetness on the tongue.

And so for day 1551

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