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Prompt : Sappho’s poem “He’s equal with the Gods, that man…” has exercised an enormous influence on Western love literature and medical lore. What are, in your opinion, the elements in the poem that made it so popular? Discuss also how later poets and medical writers appropriated the poem.Side notes: Include some information on people in love comparing their love to a divine power. This paper is approached from the view of love sickness/melancholia. You must know enough about love sickness as Sappho explains all of the symptoms of love sickness in the poem. This course is a course focused on lovesickness and melancholia and depression. Keep that in mind when writing. This paper will be MLA format 7 pages long Use in line citations as well as a works cited page if you are unsure on how to cite sources in line use the following link : will attach sapphos poem below. And some poems you should use in your essay that are similar. For the poems I have attached just writing the name of the poem and the author in the works cited should be good enough since it is not from a book (unless you know the proper way to cite it, then I would appreciate that)


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(pseudo) Longinus, On the Sublime
Let us now consider whether there is anything further which conduces to the Sublime
in writing. It is a law of Nature that in all things there are certain constituent parts,
coexistent with their substance. It necessarily follows, therefore, that one cause of
sublimity is the choice of the most striking circumstances involved in whatever we are
describing, and, further, the power of afterwards combining them into one animate
whole. The reader is attracted partly by the selection of the incidents, partly by the skill
which has welded them together. For instance, Sappho, in dealing with the passionate
manifestations attending on the frenzy of lovers, always chooses her strokes from the
signs which she has observed to be actually exhibited in such cases. But her peculiar
excellence lies in the felicity with which she chooses and unites together the most
striking and powerful features.
“I deem that man divinely blest
Who sits, and, gazing on thy face,
Hears thee discourse with eloquent lips,
And marks thy lovely smile.
This, this it is that made my heart
So wildly flutter in my breast;
Whene’er I look on thee, my voice
Falters, and faints, and fails;
My tongue’s benumbed; a subtle fire
Through all my body inly steals;
Mine eyes in darkness reel and swim;
Strange murmurs drown my ears;
With dewy damps my limbs are chilled;
An icy shiver shakes my frame;
Paler than ashes grows my cheek;
And Death seems nigh at hand.”
Is it not wonderful how at the same moment soul, body, ears, tongue, eyes, color, all fail
her, and are lost to her as completely as if they were not her own? Observe too how her
sensations contradict one another–she freezes, she burns, she raves, she reasons, and all
at the same instant. And this description is designed to show that she is assailed, not by
any particular emotion, but by a tumult of different emotions. All these tokens belong to
the passion of love; but it is in the choice, as I said, of the most striking features, and in
the combination of them into one picture, that the perfection of this Ode of Sappho’s
lies. Similarly Homer in his descriptions of tempests always picks out the most terrific
He’s equal with the Gods, that man
Who sits across from you,
Face to face, close enough, to sip
Your voice’s sweetness,
And what excites my mind,
Your laughter, glittering. So,
When I see you, for a moment,
My voice goes,
My tongue freezes. Fire,
Delicate fire, in the flesh.
Blind, stunned, the sound
Of thunder, in my ears.
Shivering with sweat, cold
Tremors over the skin,
I turn the color of dead grass,
And I’m an inch from dying.
Lobel-Page 31 / Voigt 31 / Gallavotti 2 / Diehl 2 / Bergk 2
Cf. e.g. Wharton:
Φαίνεταί μοι κήνος ἴσος θέοισιν
ἔμμεν ὤνηρ, ὄστις ἐναντίος τοι
ἰζάνει, καὶ πλυσίον ἆδυ φωνεύσας ὑπακούει
καὶ γελαίσας ἰμερόεν, τό μοι μάν
καρδίαν ἐν στήθεσιν ἐπτόασεν·
ὡς γὰρ εὔιδον βροχέως σε, φώνας
οὺδὲν ἔτ’ εἴκει·
ἀλλὰ κὰμ μὲν γλῶσσα ἔαγε, λέπτον δ’
αὔτικα χρῷ πῦρ ὐπαδεδρόμακεν,
ὀππάτεσσι δ’οὐδὲν ὄρημ’, ἐπιρρόμβεισι δ’ ἄκουαι.
ἀ δέ μίδρως κακχέεται, τρόμος δέ
παῖσαν ἄγρει, χλωροτέρα δὲ ποίας
ἔμμι, τεθνάκην δ’ ὀλίγω ‘πιδεύης
φαίνομαι [ἄλλα].
He seems to me equal to the 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
for when I look at you, even a moment, no speaking
Is left in me
no: tongue breaks and thin
fire is racing under skin
and in eyes no sight and drumming
fills ears
and cold sweat holds me and shaking
grips me all, greener than grass
I am and dead — or almost
I seem to me.
But all is to be dared, because even a person of poverty…
51 – An Imitation of Sappho: to Lesbia
He seems equal to the gods, to me, that man,
if it’s possible more than just divine,
who sitting over against you, endlessly
sees you and hears you
laughing so sweetly, that with fierce pain I’m robbed
of all of my senses: because that moment
I see you, Lesbia, nothing’s left of me…..
but my tongue is numbed, and through my poor limbs
fires are raging, the echo of your voice
rings in both ears, my eyes are covered
with the dark of night.
Your idleness is loathsome Catullus:
you delight in idleness, and too much posturing:
idleness ruined the kings and the cities
of former times
LI. ad Lesbiam
Ille mi par esse deo videtur,
ille, si fas est, superare divos,
qui sedens adversus identidem te
spectat et audit
dulce ridentem, misero quod omnis
eripit sensus mihi: nam simul te,
Lesbia, aspexi, nihil est super mi
lingua sed torpet, tenuis sub artus
flamma demanat, sonitu suopte
tintinant aures gemina, teguntur
lumina nocte.
otium, Catulle, tibi molestum est:
otio exsultas nimiumque gestis:
otium et reges prius et beatas
perdidit urbes.

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