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Greek Lyric Poetry.docx

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CLAS 430

Greek Lyric Poetry  Lyrical and epic poetry from the same time period, lyrical poetry is just as old.  In effect it is song.  Many points of contact between the two. Sometimes exactly the same phrases  Both stem from common tradition  Choral (group of people) & Monodic (one person singing)  Differentiate mainly based on occasion  Occasions: work, funeral, wedding, celebrate gods, battle  Different settlings: theatre, sanctuaries, in collection w/ athletic events  Olympia – Panhellenic (all Greek), interstate sanctuary. Site of Olympic games, traditionally founded in 776 BCE. Cult site of Zeus, Hera, Pelops.  The poets were commissioned by the victor (or family of the victor) to communicate the victory  Seen as a sign of divine favor  Balance between celebrating the victor and the city they were from a. If the victor was a boy, the poet must name his father and where they are from.  Very few collections of antiquities, did not survive (fragmented)  Often found from wrappings of ancient mummies ―The Charms of Tyranny‖ Ibycus: You too, Polycrates, will have undying fame in accordance with my song and my fame  Tyrant is not necessarily bad. It was a term to describe ONE leader. Notion of hospitality between victor & poem, element of gift exchange. Same phrase Achilles uses. Archilochus of Paros  7 thcentury BCE  Monodic – performs on his own  Legend of how he became a poet – his father asked to take a cow to the market. At Slippery Rocks he met three women who asked if his cow was for sale. They disappeared and a lyre shows up in place of the women and cow. His father goes to the Oracle of Apollo who tells him that his first son will be immortalized.  Known especially for bitter reproaches  Fragment 66 – I know one thing well, how, by means of bitter reproaches, to revenge myself who has wronged me. o Writes about 2 sisters who later commit suicide because they were shamed by Achilochus.  Fighting/colonization  Fragment 1 – I am a servant to Lord Ares, god of war and one who understands the Muses’ lovely gifts.  Fragment 2: In my spear is my kneaded bread; in my spear Ismarian wine; I drink it leaning on my spear Sappho  Nine books of Sappho’s poetry.  Until recently there were only 3. Now we have 4 nearly complete books (as of 2004) th  Sappho is from Lesbos (7 century BCE) – ―Lesbian‖  Her poetry reflects Troy as she lived near to this area  Monodic (performs on her own)  Poetry primarily concerned with female themes.  Wedding songs, mythological songs, about personal poems about her family, love between women, Aphrodite  Educational institution (chorus of girls) very tender & erotic relationships.  Most Famous Poems:  Poem 1 – Deathless Aphrodite of the spangled mind child of Zeus, who twists lures, I beg you: do not break with hard pains O lady, my heart but come here if ever before you caught my voice far off and listening left you father’s golden house and came yoking your car. And fine birds brought you, quick sparrows over the black earth whipping their wings down the skin through midair—they arrived. But you, O blessed one, smiled in your deathless face and asked what (NOW AGAIN) I have suffered and why (NOW AGAIN) I am calling out. i. Finely crafted, very difficult to translate. ii. Aphrodite is so far away. Distance between divine and human. iii. NOW AGAIN – ????  Poem 31 – He seems to me equal to the gods that man who sits close by you and listens freely to your sweet voice OR He seems to me equal to gods that man whoever he is who opposite you sits and listens close to your sweet speaking and lovely laughing – oh it puts the heart in my chest on wings i. Do not know the occasion for it (some say it is a wedding song) ii. Famous to describe ero
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