Sappho

(c. 600 BCE / Greece)

Cleis

Poem by Sappho

Sleep, darling
I have a small
daughter called
Cleis, who is

like a golden
flower
I wouldn't
take all Croesus'
kingdom with love
thrown in, for her

---

Don't ask me what to wear
I have no embroidered
headband from Sardis to
give you, Cleis, such as
I wore
and my mother
always said that in her
day a purple ribbon
looped in the hair was thought
to be high style indeed

but we were dark:
a girl
whose hair is yellower than
torchlight should wear no
headdress but fresh flowers


Sappho
tr. Barnard


Comments about Cleis by Sappho

  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (2/26/2020 10:52:00 PM)

    very impression and loving poem written-
    a girl
    whose hair is yellower than
    torchlight should wear no
    headdress but fresh flowers// superb(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Britte NinadBritte Ninad (2/26/2020 10:12:00 PM)

    a girl
    whose hair is yellower than
    torchlight should wear no
    headdress but fresh flowers

    Beautiful poem(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Michael Morgan (12/5/2019 6:21:00 AM)

    yellower than WHAT? This is divine. No wonfer she lives.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Michael Morgan (12/5/2019 6:19:00 AM)

    Misunderstood. She is talking to one of her 'girls' leaving to be married. Reference to the daughter is incidental(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ratnakar Mandlik (5/4/2019 11:47:00 PM)

    A wonderul flight of imagery to narrate beauty and tenderness.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Emma Brooks (10/20/2016 12:00:00 PM)

    I have to do a report on Sappho and this poem really helps(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Latha GLatha G (6/7/2016 3:21:00 PM)

    Very impressive poem. The poet's daughter must have real golden flower.
    Very beaitifully knitted multiple topics and brought out the poem like a capsule form!(Report)Reply

    Emma Brooks(10/20/2016 12:01:00 PM)

    I agree

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • * Sunprincess * (9/4/2015 8:09:00 PM)

    ....beautiful poem..love the imagery of purple ribbons - -★(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black (8/19/2014 11:33:00 AM)

    Sappho you are a real classic and a treasure to read...(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Sayeed AbubakarSayeed Abubakar (7/31/2013 6:34:00 AM)

    What a touchy poem! I am utterly touched by the language of a lovely mother.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Uriah Hamilton (5/12/2005 11:12:00 AM)

    what sunlight, what youthfulness, what tenderness does not exude from my beloved Sappho?(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 12 comments »

Cleis Score Card

User Rating:
3,0 / 5 (81 votes)11



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Read poems about / on: daughter, purple, hair, flower, girl, mother, sleep, dark, love



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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