Greek Anthology 9.773 Χαλκοτύπος τὸν Ἔρωτα μεταλλάξας ἐπόησε τήγανον, οὐκ ἀλόγως, ὅττι καὶ αὐτὸ φλέγει. A bronze-smith, melting down Eros, fashioned a frying pan - not unreasonably, since that too burns.
From Fat to Frying Pan First he burned with words, kisses; Promising a life together, a few kids. And then it was: where’s my breakfast? Or, I don’t like my eggs done like this. Time, like an alchemist or blacksmith, Has hammered out love, our own Eros, Shrunk it down, from fat to frying pan. Never mind: now it is my turn to burn The best bacon. To waste his good eggs.
Greek Anthology 11.287 ὁ τὴν γυναῖκα τὴν ἄμορφον δυστυχῶν, λύχνους ἀνάψας ἑσπέρας βλέπει σκότος Cursed with an ugly wife, when he lights the evening candles, he still sees only gloom
Holding a Candle When I hear his step on the stair, See the flicker of the evening light On his yellow teeth or thinning hair As he peers into that gloomy night, I turn my face to the peeling wall. I dream of the lips of my first love While he snores on or snuffles off. He couldn’t even hold a candle.
Greek Anthology 11.306 ἂν μετ᾽ Ἀλεξάνδρειαν ἐς Ἀντιόχειαν ἀπέλθῃς, καὶ μετὰ τὴν Συρίην Ἰταλίας ἐπιβῇς, τῶν δυνατῶν οὐδείς σε γαμήσει: τοῦτο γὰρ αἰεὶ οἰομένη πηδᾷς εἰς πόλιν ἐκ πόλεως. Even if, after Alexandria, you leave for Antioch, and, after Syria, you then arrive in Italy, no powerful man will marry you; for ever in hope, you will hop from city to city.
All the Same (i) You might say: “Time to look for another spot, Kiss goodbye to Alexandria, head for Antioch Or Italy – to find a man who is rich or powerful (Or both).” But just as you are unmarriageable In this one city, so you will always be alone As you hop from bed to bed, time zone to time zone. (ii) Yes, I’m the woman who’s had her fair ration - From A to A, I have run the full gamut of men: The losers, the liars, the cheats without shame. Here’s a flash: world over, they’re all the same.
New Papyrus, p.3, 18-32 Another one against [?] slavish [?]... Beans, which are now called ‘faba’...Very hateful indeed to Pythagoras of Samos. We will continue to hold to that man’s warning: that it is equivalent...both to eat beans and the heads of our fathers...related..melted in fire...the most ridiculous thing... and the flesh of four-footed animals...food..Pythagoras...very much indeed...Pythagoras...take on..all kinds of food..
Against Slavish Fads Flageolets (which used to be plain ‘beans’) Are never, ever eaten by the Pythagoreans. They all defer to the great man’s dictums: Dining on beans, it seems, is prohibited - Like boiling dear old Dad’s bald head. And alcohol? Well, that too is verboten: As fire melts iron, they say, so wine, wisdom. You ask what could be more ridiculous? They also hate meat, disdain its finest cuts. God help the woman who takes on the task Of shopping –or even catering – for Pythagoras.
New Papyrus p.15. 20-24 On... Alas, o honourable woman, the...clever hair-splittings...if, on account of the rich...and their wives.... but you...just the same...
On Honour Among Wives ‘Respectable’ women are the ones to beware; They open their legs and then they split hairs With such clever talk about ‘minor infidelities’ - What constitutes ‘cheating’, or counts as a ‘lie’. The rich, most of all, should proceed with care, Those wealth creators – at least for their wives. You think you bought a spouse, a slave in name? You know what your wife thinks? Just the same.
New Papyrus, p 18, 1-9...is weakened, for the help from... I babble...and a mist steals over my eyes...my...is being supported [nourished? well-grown?]...to the soles of my feet...I am becoming paler...it will be necessary for one who has fainted [endured?]...
Sappho 31 It seems to me that man is equal to the gods, that is, whoever sits opposite you and, drawing nearer, savours, as you speak, the sweetness of your voice and the thrill of your laugh, which have so stirred the heart in my own breast, that whenever I catch sight of you, even if for a moment, then my voice deserts me and my tongue is struck silent, a delicate fire suddenly races underneath my skin, my eyes see nothing, my ears whistle like the whirling of a top and sweat pours down me and a trembling creeps over my whole body, I am greener than grass, at such times I seem to be no more than a step away from death; [but all can be endured since even a poor man....] Palladas...is weakened, for the help from...I babble...and a mist steals over my eyes...my...is being supported [nourished? well-grown?]...to the soles of my feet...I am becoming paler...it will be necessary for one who has fainted [endured?]...
Love in Old Age As soon as I sit next to her, my bones creak; There’ s no help for it as my knees turn weak. My words tangle, my tongue lisps and twists; My voice grates and then her eyes start to mist. My pot belly swells, begins to quiver - A fine figure (if I don’t look in mirror). A fire shoots down to the tip of my toes As my gout flares up, takes its endless hold. I seem to fade away, I am paler Than stale piss, faint from high blood pressure... But believe you me, all can be lived through - For even an old man might one day pull...
New Papyrus, p.10, 24-9 Another One... If we wish to put an end to the discord and the strife, I would like to introduce a motion, a truly marvellous one: let us appoint ambassadors to go down to Pluto. – Whom, then, shall we persuade? – It’s not impossible. Pay out five talents and Heron will be persuaded again.
Another Cunning Plan If we want to end conflict, put peace in place, I have a cunning plan, yes, truly otherworldly: Send envoys down to all the soldiers in Hades; Canvass those who paid the price, face to face. But who might undertake the task? No worries. Put up five million - and Tony Blair is on the case.