would move you
more than thin fire
forgetting your will
as if the unthinkable
had not happened.
the dear sound of being
far away light glancing,
longing easily proved,
your footsteps treading
clumsy, trod upon you
now you are upon the earth
now you are the topmost twig
the pluckers forgot.
some say love is forgetting,
some say a moment, then no speaking
but you say
they didn’t try
sight on dark
choose first among the ruins
flower of the again
whatever one loves
looks the light of the sun


      •  Sappho, "He seems to me equal to gods..." (Fragment 31)

      •  Sappho, "One Girl"

      •  Sappho, "[To an army wife, in Sardis...]"

      •  Anita George, "Fragment 105(A)" and "Fragment 105(C)"

      •  Gary Wills, "Slop and Gossip"


I like the idea of interacting with an honored poet of classical antiquity, and a brave and expressive one at that. I mixed bits of text from the various sources I chose, and then to stretch my use of the words further, I pasted the remixed text into the Lazarus “text mixing desk," which mixes the text a user inputs according to user selected options (modules) including remixing, "transgenderiser," cut up engine, and expletive deletion. The Lazarus tool is a fun way to stumble across odd word combinations that a writer might not consider otherwise. After playing with the language in this way, I revised the piece into its final form. In selecting Sappho source texts to work with, I started with "fragment number 31" for its emotional immediacy and continued adding source texts from there. I did not approach this prompt with a plan, and I'm glad I didn't.



                                                                                                         ~Beth Ayer