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Unformatted text preview: The only works we have left of this particular poet are a number of fragmented pieces of parchment, some with little more than a single word remaining intact. Ms. Retallacks work seems to mirror this: the lines in her poems seem broken and fragmented, an effect only amplified when the poetry is read aloud. After reading the fragments of Sappho, I wondered how someone even begins to translate something where few pieces remain. I wonder what would happen if some culture in the distant future happened to find Joan Retallacks poetry and read it. Perhaps they will look at it like we look at Sapphos work: they can read it, but they will think that it parts are missing or incomplete. They would likely spend a lot of time imagining how to fill in the blanks. On the other hand, perhaps Sappho thought then like Joan does now and wrote her poetry to appear fragmented as well. We shall never really know....
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This essay was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course HON 180 taught by Professor Hatlen during the Fall '05 term at University of Maine Orono .
- Fall '05