December 2 | The Poetry of Sappho
The poetry of Sappho has entranced readers and listeners from the time she wrote in the 6th century BCE. Though few of her poems survive complete, in Sappho’s poems and fragments we hear the rare voice of a woman from the ancient world, exploring with precision, simplicity and intimacy the nature of love, desire, marriage, shame and time.
When: Two weekly sessions on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, starting December 2, 2021
Duration: 2 hours per session
Cost: C$135 plus 13% HST (approx. US$105 plus 13% HST)
Group Size: 12-participant limit
How: We meet on Zoom; you will receive joining instructions approx. 3 weeks before the seminar start date. For your privacy, all our Zoom seminars are password-protected and are never recorded. See full conditions at the bottom of this page.
All seminar payments are nonrefundable. All discount codes must be used at time of purchase. If you would like to apply your Toronto Pursuits 2020 deposit to this seminar, please contact us.
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Mark Cwik is the education manager for Classical Pursuits. He is a longtime Toronto Pursuits and trip leader and has been an organizer of adult great books discussion groups for 25 years. He specializes in literature from the ancient, mythic and religious world. His recent CP seminars have included the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Women of Greek Drama, and Myths of the Greek Gods. Mark lives in London, England, where he also leads seminars with the London Literary Salon.
If Not, Winter: Fragments Of Sappho, by Anne Carson
In Canada: (Vintage Canada, 2003)
In US: (Vintage, 2003)
In UK: (Virago, 2003)
We encourage you to support local bookstores or other independent sellers, especially as alternatives to Amazon.
In Canada, try McNally Robinson.
The poetry of Sappho has entranced readers and listeners from the time she wrote in the 6th century BCE. In Classical Greece, her work was recognised as among the finest ever written, and Plato is reputed to have called her the Tenth Muse. Though few of her poems survive complete, in Sappho’s poems and fragments we hear the rare voice of a woman from the ancient world, exploring with precision, simplicity and intimacy the nature of love, desire, marriage, shame and time.
In this two-week seminar, we will look closely at the poems of Sappho, using the dual-language edition of Canadian classicist and poet Anne Carson. Carson’s straightforward, yet elegant, translations bring across without ornamentation the lightness of Sappho’s verse. We will also take a brief look at other poets of period to get a feel for the context in which Sappho wrote. To explore the challenges of translating Sappho, we will examine one or two her short poems in multiple translations, (and in the original Greek).
Solon of Athens heard his nephew sing a song of Sappho’s over the wine,
and since he liked the song so much he asked the boy to teach it to him.
When someone asked why he said, “So that I may learn it then die.”
—Aelian, Fragment 187/190
All online seminar payments are nonrefundable. All discount codes must be used at the time of purchase; no retroactive discounts will be issued.
All seminars are subject to minimum enrollment of 7 participants. Click the link for full terms and conditions for Classical Pursuits online seminars.
Classical Pursuits does not record seminars. By participating in any seminar, registrants agree not to make their own seminar recordings and to abide by the Classical Pursuits code of conduct.
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Standard registration, Toronto Pursuits 2020 credit