Ancient Rome’s only (?) poetess

Sulpicia's poemsFrom British daily The Morning Star:

Well Versed

(Wednesday 17 September 2008)

Poem of the Week: It’s Out at last
Edited by John Rety

PICK: Poem of the Week.

It’s Out At Last

By Sulpicia

Love has come at last. The very idea
That I’d hide it makes me more ashamed
Than openly confessing. Won over
By my Muse’s supplication, Cythera’s Goddess
Has brought him to me, placed him in my arms.
What Venus promised, she has fulfilled.
Let them tattle who have missed their chance.
I’ll not entrust the news to a sealed letter
That none may read of it before my lover does.
I loathe to wear a mask in deference
To what the world may say. Let everyone hear
That we have come together – each of us
Deserving the other.

About the poem

This poem was translated by the late John Heath-Stubbs. Sulpicia was the only woman poet of ancient Rome whose name and work have survived.

Her manuscripts were found in the coffers of the Vatican after they “disappeared” for a 1,500 years. She speaks with a directness and frankness of her passion. …

John Rety of Hearing Eye Press and Torriano Meeting House is a former editor of anarchist paper Freedom.

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