[Love’s Poverty] by Paulus Silentiarius

Locked in Hippomenes’ kisses,
my heart clings to Leander;

wet with Leander’s lips,
Xanthus leaps to mind;

lying with Xanthus,
who should I dream but Hippomenes!

One after another,
I love my lovers,

but in the arms of each,
long for others.

Say what you will of me,
I know nothing

of love’s poverty.

From: Hamill, Sam, The Infinite Moment: Poems from Ancient Greek, 1992, New Directions: New York, p. 80.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=uH5R8Ar1oscC)

Date: c550 (original in Greek); 1991 (translation in English)

By: Paulus Silentiarius (d. 575-580)

Translated by: Sam Hamill (1943- )

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2 Comments to “[Love’s Poverty] by Paulus Silentiarius”

  1. ​I had no idea–Byzantine poetry. Who would have thought? I wonder if there’s more as good.​

    On Sat, Jun 3, 2017 at 9:35 PM, From Troubles of The World wrote:

    > flusteredduck posted: “Locked in Hippomenes’ kisses, my heart clings to > Leander; wet with Leander’s lips, Xanthus leaps to mind; lying with > Xanthus, who should I dream but Hippomenes! One after another, I love my > lovers, but in the arms of each, long for others” >

    • Very happy to introduce you to some Byzantine poetry. I loved the mischief in this one which is why I chose it for the blog. I’m finding that the more modern translations of the ancient poets appear to lack the biases of the older translations which, in the ones that are readily available, tend to the heroic and epic translations. They appear to skip over the gritty aspects of the writings. It’s a fascinating development to monitor.

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