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Orfanos, S.D. (2011). “I Beg You, Gongyla”: By Sappho (600 B.C.E.). Psychoanal. Perspect., 8(2):283-283.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 8(2):283-283

“I Beg You, Gongyla”: By Sappho (600 B.C.E.)

Translated from the Greek by Spyros D. Orfanos, Ph.D., ABPP

Before the era of luminous rationalism, the Classical Greeks idealized beauty and Eros. Sappho, the poet from the Aegean island of Lesbos, best exemplified this sensibility with a pure lyricism, full of Dionysian impulses and dynamism. For 25 centuries her love poems have survived, albeit in fragments, because they affirm the senses of beauty.

Come back again, I beg you, Gongyla.

Reveal yourself in your garment

white as milk; o what desire

forever around you, my lovely girl.

This charming garment stirs her

who beholds you, for she who expresses

this reproach to you is the goddess herself

Cyprus-born, whom now I invoke.

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