Sophocles' tragedies--from Antigone to Oedipus Tyrannus--are filled with highly wrought, vivid, and emotionally powerful poetry. Yet most translations sacrifice the poetry to convey only the sense of the lines as dramatic speech. This is the first book in English to present Sophocles exclusively as a poet, and the only volume to reveal the full force and beauty of his verse. With a fresh and consistent attention to structure, language, and rhythm across Sophocles' writings, Reginald Gibbons has translated a selection of odes from Sophocles' surviving plays as well as fragments from his lost works. What emerges is a genuinely new sense of a Sophocles who was as much poet as dramatist. Bringing the Greek poet and his world surprisingly close to us, these translations also restore a sense of the long continuity of poetry. Complete with an introduction, this edition reveals Sophocles' poetic brilliance as never before.
Reginald Gibbons is a poet, translator, and professor of English and classics at Northwestern University. He has translated Sophocles' "Antigone" and Euripides' "Bakkhai" (both with the late Charles Segal). His most recent collection of poetry is "Creatures of a Day".
Introduction 1 DESIRE Aphrodite of Kypros [fragment 941] 25 On Eros and Aphrodite [Antigone 781-800] 26 Eros, Impossible to Thwart [fragment 684] 27 The Mighty Kyprian [Trakhiniai 497-530] 28 THE HUMAN LOT On Man [Antigone 332-75] 33 The Human Lot [fragments]* 36 On Song [fragment 568] 42 What Sophokles Wrote on Women Was Preserved by Men [fragments]* 43 Fragments of Thamyras 45 On Sleep [Philoktetes 828-32] 47 THE ODES OF OIDIPOUS TYRANNOS The Chorus Plead for Divine Aid against Plague [151-215] 51 But What Does the Seer Teiresias Prove against Oidipous? [463-511] 54 On Purity, Insolence, and Punishment [863-910] 57 A Dance of Hope [1086-1109] 60 Oidipous the Cursed [1186-1222] 62 THE END OF THE FAMILY OF LABDAKOS On the Long Life of Oidipous [Oidipous at Kolonos 1211-48] 67 On Fate and the Last of the Family [Antigone 582-625] 69 Oidipous on the Passage of Time [Oidipous at Kolonos 607-23] 72 On Behalf of Oidipous [Oidipous at Kolonos 1557-78] 73 HOMELAND EARTH, SEA, AND SKY In Praise of Kolonos [Oidipous at Kolonos 668-719] 77 The Fullness of the World [fragments]* 80 The Sea [fragments]* 83 To Dionysos [Antigone 1115-52] 86 THE FATE OF THE HERO On the Madness of Aias [Aias 596-645] 91 Aias's Meditation before Suicide [Aias 646-85] 93 On the Afflicted Philoktetes [Philoktetes 169-90] 95 On Herakles [Trakhiniai 94-140] 97 Notes 101 Index of First Lines 127