Selection from Sappho’s Lyre (University of California Press, 1991). Translation copyright 2000 Diane Rayor; all rights reserved.

       Terpsichore [told] me
lovely old tales to sing
to the white-robed women of Tanagra
and the city delighted greatly
5in my voice, clear as the swallow’s.
Since whenever great . . .
false . . .
. . . land with wide dancing-places,
and stories from our fathers’ time
10by my art adorned
for the young women [I’ll begin].
Many times I adorned
the leader Kephisos with stories —
often, too, the great Orion
15and his fifty strong sons
from his mingling with nymphs
. . . Libya . . .
I tell of the girl . . .
20lovely to see . . .
the [land] bears . . .
. . . I bore . . .

For an interpretation of this poem in the context of Korinna’s craft, see Diane Rayor, “Korinna: Gender and the Narrative Tradition,”  Arethusa 26 (1993) 219-231.

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