Varieties of Ecstasy

again, from Barnstone’s intro to his Sappho translations, all things for me to consider as I’m writing blessings.

“The fragments of Sappho’s poems contain the first Western examples of ecstasy, including the sublime, which the first-century Longinos recognized and preserved for us. They also include varieties of ekstasis briefly alluded to in these pages: the bliss of Edenic companionship, dancing under the moon, breakfasts in the grass; the whirlwind blast of love; the desolation and rage of betrayal; the seizure and paralysis before impossible love; and as all her ordinary senses fail, the movement near death–the ultimate negative ecstasy.


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