Literature · Poetry Wednesday · Teacher Voice · The English Teacher

This week’s lesson: The fragments of Sappho, “completed”

Sappho. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.
Sappho. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

For a quick lesson on Sappho and lyric poetry, I asked my World Literature (third year high school) students to continue writing what may have been lost in the fragments of Sappho’s poetry. I chose four fragments for them to choose from, and from them my students created their own poems.

Below are some of the poems my students came up with. They’re really impressive, I must say! The original fragments are the wonderful translations of Anne Carson in If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho (Vintage, 2003).

#

Fragment 24C

]
]we live
]
the opposite
]
daring
]
]
]

we live
in fear
the
opposite
of
daring
we cannot
truly be
alive
—John Cruz, JH

You and I
we live
in the opposite
ends of the
earth
daring to
defy all
who stood in
our way.
—Camila Sta. Ana, JI

We live
in a life
where
the opposite
can be as beautiful
and as daring
as the ones
that lived
in another.
—Sandra Sisik, JH

Now we live, but on the opposite
side, risky and daring, aiming
to find happiness.
—Bernice Santiago, JH

We live in colors bright and gray
in the opposite ways
both daring to share a lover’s gaze
—Emmanuel del Rosario, JI

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Fragment 147

someone will remember us
I say
even in another time

someone will remember us
I say
even in another time
our footsteps embedded on this land
our words written on paper
immortalized
          —Thea David, JI

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Fragment 38

you burn me

you burn me
heat tickles my skin
for a flame that burns this bright
is not meant to last
—Sofia Sabularse, JI

you burn me
oh dearly beloved
with your heated gaze
I must look away
—Camila Sta. Ana, JH

You burn me
Yet I still stay cold
To all the hell you’ve caused
For the heart you have burnt
Still longs for you with every ash
—Raine Buenvenida, JH

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Fragment 138

stand to face me beloved
and open out the grace of your eyes

stand to face me beloved and open
out the grace of your eyes, let loose
the lock on your lips, and let
the voice that the angels
themselves envy flow out to
soothe my restless soul.
—Paulo Hechanova, JH

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