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Poems
Cleis
(c. 600 BCE / Greece)

Cleis

Sleep, darling
I have a small
daughter called
Cleis, who is

like a golden
flower
I wouldn't
take all Croesus'
kingdom with love
thrown in, for her

---

Don't ask me what to wear
I have no embroidered
headband from Sardis to
give you, Cleis, such as
I wore
and my mother
always said that in her
day a purple ribbon
looped in the hair was thought
to be high style indeed

but we were dark:
a girl
whose hair is yellower than
torchlight should wear no
headdress but fresh flowers


Sappho
tr. Barnard

User Rating: 3,0 / 5 ( 81 votes ) 11

Comments (11)

very impression and loving poem written- a girl whose hair is yellower than torchlight should wear no headdress but fresh flowers// superb
a girl whose hair is yellower than torchlight should wear no headdress but fresh flowers Beautiful poem
yellower than WHAT? This is divine. No wonfer she lives.
Misunderstood. She is talking to one of her 'girls' leaving to be married. Reference to the daughter is incidental
A wonderul flight of imagery to narrate beauty and tenderness.
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