[I asked myself / What, Sappho, can...]

By Sappho Sappho

Translated By Mary Barnard

I asked myself
What, Sappho, can
you give one who
has everything,
like Aphrodite?

Sappho, "[I askeed myself / What, Sappho, can...]" from Sappho, translated by Mary Barnard, published by the University of California Press. Copyright © 2012 by The Estate of Mary Barnard.  Reprinted by permission of Estate of Mary Barnard.

Source: Sappho, Translated by Mary Barnard (University of California Press, 2012)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Sappho


Subjects Love, Classic Love, Desire, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology


Little is known with certainty about the life of Sappho, or Psappha in her native Aeolic dialect. She was born probably about 620 B.C. to an aristocratic family on the island of Lesbos during a great cultural flowering in the area. Apparently her birthplace was either Eressos or Mytilene, the main city on the island, where she seems to have lived for some time. Even the names of her family members are inconsistently reported, . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Classic Love, Desire, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology


Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.