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

  • (10/20/2016 12:00:00 PM)


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

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Latha 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

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

    I agree

  • (9/4/2015 8:09:00 PM)


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

  • (8/19/2014 11:33:00 AM)


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

  • Sayeed 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

  • (5/12/2005 11:12:00 AM)


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

Read all 7 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

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



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]