Alcman 89

Translated from the Greek by Dan Beachy-Quick

They are sleeping, mountain-heads, headlands,and the gullies, too—the fallen leaves and the tribe of slow-footedcreatures the dark earth grows—beasts of prey mountain-bred and broodof wild bees and the brutemonsters deep in the deep purple seas:and that flock of omen-giving birds long-winged,they are sleeping, too.

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Alcman (late 7th c. BCE) was reputedly freed from servitude for the beauty of his singing. He claimed to have learned poetry from listening to the partridges and doves. He led the choruses of young boys and girls in Sparta, where he became a citizen.

photo of Dan Beachy-Quick

Dan Beachy-Quick is a poet, essayist, and translator. His most recent books include Arrows (Tupelo Press) and Stone-Garland (Milkweed Editions), a collection of translations from the ancient Greek. Recently long-listed for the National Book Award in Poetry, his work has been supported by the Monfort, Lannan, and Guggenheim Foundations. He teaches at Colorado State University, where he is a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar.

"As part of the publisher's 'Seedbank' series, aiming to preserve endangered literatures, the poet Beachy-Quick offers a modern gloss on six ancient Greeks."
New York Times Book Review, "New & Noteworthy Poetry"

"Sixth-century BCE Greek lyric poets Alcman, Theognis, Simonides, Anacreon/Anacreonata, Archilochus, and Callimachus are beautifully translated by Beachy-Quick in this memorable and edifying collection, which presents excavated fragments meant to be sung or recited to music . . . This skillfully achieved collection is a necessary contribution to ancient translation."
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

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