Poems From The Greek Anthology
Poetry by Robert Fitzgerald
Probably no other single collection of poems captures the quality of a whole civilization as well as the Greek Anthology. Also called the Palatine Anthology, it consists of more than 4,000 short poems which were written as early as 700 BC and as late as the final subsidence of Greek culture 1,000 years after Christ. Here all Greeks go hand in hand––pagan and Christian, Athenian and Byzantine, republican and imperialist, laureate and private man. The range of mood and subject, as one might expect, is as wide as human experience itself. Dudley Fitts has translated a selection of these poems into modern, readable English verse. Poet as well as classicist, Fitts has caught the precise tone––comic or elegiac, dignified or plaintive––of each Greek original, and his poems stand as firmly in English as newly created works. This volume contains 141 examples from the Greek Anthology. They were chosen, first, because among all the originals they are the ones which are most manageable within the resources of modern poetry and, second, because they represent the extraordinary diversity of theme, character, and tone in the original collection. They comprise a book of pure enjoyment which no enterprising reader will want to miss.