Hollow

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This suggestively painted fabric is by Scottish painter, Alison Watt.

Alison Watt was born in Greenock in 1965 and studied at Glasgow School of Art. Her work first came to public attention in 1987 when she won the National Portrait Gallery’s coveted annual award and in the late 1980s and early 90s she became well known for her paintings of figures, often female nudes.

Sappho

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by Charles August Mengin, 1877

Sappho was an archaic Greek poet from the island of Lesbos. Sappho wrote lyric poetry and is best known for her poems about love and women. Most of Sappho’s poetry is now lost, and what is extant has survived only in fragmentary form, except for one complete poem – the “Ode to Aphrodite”.

 

Ode To Aphrodite

Deathless Aphrodite, throned in flowers,
Daughter of Zeus, O terrible enchantress,
With this sorrow, with this anguish, break my spirit
Lady, not longer!

Hear anew the voice! O hear and listen!
Come, as in that island dawn thou camest,
Billowing in thy yoked car to Sappho
Forth from thy father’s

Golden house in pity! … I remember:
Fleet and fair thy sparrows drew thee, beating
Fast their wings above the dusky harvests,
Down the pale heavens,

Lightning anon! And thou, O blest and brightest,
Smiling with immortal eyelids, asked me:
‘Maiden, what betideth thee? Or wherefore
Callest upon me?

‘What is here the longing more than other,
Here in this mad heart? And who the lovely
One beloved that wouldst lure to loving?
Sappho, who wrongs thee?

‘See, if now she flies, she soon must follow;
Yes, if spurning gifts, she soon must offer;
Yes, if loving not, she soon must love thee,
Howso unwilling…’

Come again to me! O now! Release me!
End the great pang! And all my heart desireth
Now of fulfillment, fulfill! O Aphrodite,
Fight by my shoulder!

 

Sappho