On Reading a Translation of Sappho’s poem on Jealousy
‘He seems to me equal to gods that man whoever he is who opposite you sits and listens close to your sweet voice.’ - Sappho
I look at you and him creating laughter, Clearly in love, at least to me outside, I look and try to read the words your eyes Speak to him, to hear his close listening;
Your mutual laughter is like music from The gods who look down and smile at you Indifferent to my refraining heart that mutely Flies towards you unknown, crusted with jealousy;
My tongue is broken, a fine pencil of fire Draws across my skin, my sight is turned, My ears drum with racing blood that owns me, I am enslaved by your coupled happiness and laughter;
Skimmed with icy sweat, pierced to death yet living still, Gangrene has taken my senses, I want to look away But cannot, you are in the grasp of this golden man, I have become impoverished, yet I want to dare ...