MuradInsight3 - Herbert Golder’s it would have to be the...

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Jeanette Murad English 110 T Th Professor Whitchurch Feb. 25, 2010 Insight 3: Lattimore vs. Golder Lattimore vs . Golder “From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire.” -- Robert Frost, “Fire and Ice” “Fragment 31” by Sappho of Lesbos caught my attention, and for a long time I read and re-read the lines in both poems, trying to decide which translation I enjoyed more. The problem is, every time I would begin to read, lightning would strike, and God would press my rewind button, replaying the only feeling in focus, the very memory that haunts my dreams. The memory of that searing fairly made my decision for me. If I were to choose a poetic translation of “Fragment 31,” between Richmond Lattimore’s and
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Unformatted text preview: Herbert Golder’s, it would have to be the translation by Herbert Golder. His translation is direct, to the point, and shatters the invisible barrier, metamorphosing from mere words on paper into a force that’s living, breathing, and “licking” at the soul. Richmond Latti-more’s version is as beautiful as Golder’s, but while I am reading it, the man or woman speaking sounds weak, a little flower that has been trampled underfoot. After my own relationships, a skin has grown around my heart that is tougher than a rhino’s behind, and Golder’s version of the poem is as tough as a rhino, too. “Just a glance and my heart pounds me dumb”—which is exactly the effect the poem Golder’s translation has on me....
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