Introduction by William E. McCulloh.
Drawings by Helle Tzalos.
In contrast to most anthologies of
Greek poetry which consist mainly of
excerpts from plays and epics, this
volume is concerned only with lyric
poetry. Included here are virtually all
of the existing poems and the better
poetic fragments of the major lyric
Willis Barnstone, a poet in his own
right, presents his translations in
modern English thereby retaining the
melodic expressiveness or ordinary
speech which marks the original.
Fire, water, religions, ignorance and
time have treated the lyric poetry of
ancient Greece very poorly . . . . In
what has survived--perhaps one percent
of the important lyric poetry--we still
have enough to comprise one of man's
greatest achievements in the arts. For
we have poems by Sappho, Pindar,
Meleagros, Archilochos, Simonides,
Plato, Kallimachos, Alkaios, Anakreon
and many others.