Category Archives: Poetry

Pindar Isthmian 8 Kleandros of Aigina, Pancratium

Pindar Isthmian 8 for Kleandros of Aigina, winner pancratium Translated by Steven J. Willett These are black-figure late 7th century BC vase paintings of pancratium boxing, the first showing the right boxer with a defeat index finger (both without gloves) … Continue reading

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Sappho’s Lyric to Aphrodite for Love

Sappho 1 D. H. Comp. 23 (vi 114ss. Usener-Radermacher) (+P. Oxy.) Translated by Steven J. Willett This is a red-figure kalathos vase of Sappho holding a lyre and plectrum as she listens to Alcaeus sing c. 470BC. We have no … Continue reading

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Japanese Modernist Poet Nishiwaki Junzaburō, Ambarvalia

Nishiwaki Junzaburō Ambarvalia Translated by Steven J. Willett Nishiwaki Junzaburō (20 January 1894 – 5 June 1982) Note: Nishiwaki was the first modernist Japanese poet. Between 1960 and 1967 he received 7 nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature including … Continue reading

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An Original Poem on Matsuo Bashō

A Grave of Grasses: An Original Poem based on Matsuo Bashō (松尾 芭蕉) The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Steven J. Willett A block print of Bashō from the 18th century by Hokusai. Note: On May 16, 1689, Bashō … Continue reading

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Pindar Nemean 8 on the Ajax Tragedy Revoking Homer

Pindar Nemean 8 for Deinias of Aigina, Winner Diaulos Translated by Steven J. Willett A red-figure vase that shows Tecmessa covering Ajax’ corpse. Note: Pindar recounts the tragedy of Ajax far closer to the Sophocles tragedy Ajax and starkly revokes … Continue reading

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Giacomo Leopardi Lyric Poem L’infinito

Giacomo Leopardi L’infinito Translated by Steven J. Willett This is the original manuscript of L’infinito written in 1818 when the poet was 22. Note: While the poem can be given a highly negative interpretation, I think this is a distorted … Continue reading

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Pindar to the Athenians: Nonsense to the Woke Generation

Pindar Fr. 75 Dion. Hal. de comp. verb 22 Translated by Steven J. Willett Note: Here is a list of names in the fragment with short explanations. incense-fragrant navelstone: Perhaps the the alter of the twelve gods in the agora; … Continue reading

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Shakespeare is not “woke”

https://www.foxnews.com/us/william-shakespeare-ditched-by-woke-teachers-over-misogyny-racism “William Shakespeare, thou hast been getting canceled. An increasing number of woke teachers are refusing to study the Bard — accusing his classic works of promoting “misogyny, racism, homophobia, classism, anti-Semitism, and misogynoir.” A slew of English literature teachers told … Continue reading

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Pindar Pythian 8, Aristomenes, Wrestling 446BC

  Pindar Pythian 8 Aristomenes of Aigina, Wrestling, 446BC Translated by Steven Willett   Athenian wrestling frieze 5th century BC   Note: Pythian 8 is one of my three or four favorites among the odes for its strong rhythmic movement … Continue reading

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Pindar Pythian 4 Ode, Arkesilas Chariot Race 462BC

    Pindar Pythian 4 Ode for Arkesilas of Cyrene, Chariot Race 426BC Translated by Steven Willett 仕事が全部終わったら戻ってきます   Pindar c. 518 (Cynoscephalae, Boiotia) ~ c. 438 (Argos) Roman copy of Greek statue 15th century BC   Note: In this … Continue reading

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