If Not, Winter
Sappho lived on the island of Lesbos from about 630 BC. She was a musical genius who devoted her life to composing and performing songs. Of the nine books of lyrics Sappho is said to have composed, none of the music is extant and only one poem has survived complete. All the rest are fragments.
In If Not, Winter Carson presents all of Sappho's fragments in Greek and in English. Brackets and space give the reader a sense of what is absent as well as what is present on the papyrus.
Carson's translation illuminates Sappho's reflections on love, desire, marriage, exile, cushions, bees, old age, shame, time, chickpeas, and many other aspects of the human situation.
"This Sappho is whispering in our ear in a language we can understand." -- Time Out New York
"Carson is in many ways [Sappho's] ideal translator ... Her command of language is honed to a perfect edge and her approach to the text, respectful yet imaginative, results in verse that lets Sappho shine forth." -- Los Angeles Times
"A selfless, faithful, and boldly delicate achievement." -- Boston Review
"Sappho's verse has been elevated to new heights in [this] gorgeous translation." -- The New York Times