Monday, September 12, 2011

Sapphic Apple

Οἶον τὸ γλυκύμαλον ἐρεύθεται ἄκρῳ ἐπ' ὔσδῳ
ἄκρον ἐπ' ἀκροτάτῳ· λελάθοντο δὲ μαλοδρόπηες,
οὐ μὰν ἐκλελάθοντ', ἀλλ' οὐκ ἐδύναντ' ἐπίκεσθαι.

That's a fragment of old Sappho for you...

What?? You want a translation..???

Ok, first here's GoogleTranslate's version:

Quasi the glykύmalon ereύthetai akrῳ on ysdῳ
welding on akrotάtῳ; lelάthonto he malodropies,
My Man eklelάthont 'But owc edύnant' epίkesthai.


Ok...bit more literal:

As the sweet apple blushes on the end of the bough,
the very end of the bough which gatherers missed,
nay, missed not, but could not reach.

Or, with rather more poetry:
At the end of the bough--its uttermost end,
Missed by the harvesters, ripens the apple, Nay, not overlooked, but far out of reach,
So with all best things.

(Photo courtesy of neighbour's apple tree)


Anji said...

The best ones have always been out of reach it seems.

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

Oh, don't you just LOVE Google translate? I've had some real doozies from there lately, too! None, however, quite as unhelpful as yours! LOL!

Translated properly, it's rather lovely. And yes, I AM incredibly impressed that you're fluent in Greek. Good grief, a whole 'nother alphabet to master on top of everything else!!