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    (adaptations – imitations – extensions)

      Perdika Press, 2008:   £4.95   ISBN: 978-1-905649-09-9    (pamphlet)

Sappho - published in Autumn 2008 by Perdika Press.

To order, contact Perdika Press by clicking here:

or contact Mario at mmpetrucci@hotmail.com

This now I shall sing with skill –
to pleasure my fellows.

Translating Sappho is inescapably an enterprise of managing fragments and absences.   But this very fracturedness becomes, in the hands of Mario Petrucci, a source of improvisatory potential that speaks radically and convincingly to the contemporary ear.   His Sappho offers – as Trinity College Cambridge Literary Society observed of his versions of Catullus – “a recreative response that is both of its time and unflinchingly true.”  

Exploiting the many vacancies occasioned by a voice so often interrupted by entropy, these bold and original adaptations enact a rare engagement with what Sappho might have said – or, rather, what can be said today through Sappho.   Clothed in respect for the Greek muse’s characteristic music, these words dance across the gaps time has bequeathed us.

"A far-reaching and incisive rendering of a poet who continues to haunt the collective imagination."
Perdika Press

Reviews of Sappho
Click here for the Daily Mail's review (a cutting)     ... or here for the online copy.

"Joltingly contemporary... extraordinarily vivid, brilliantly capturing the bitter-sweet ecstasy of desire. Petrucci’s muscular wit and daring inventiveness make his versions utterly compelling in their own right and a great starting point for exploring Sappho’s world."   Daily Mail (6 February 09)

"Another exquisitely produced pamphlet from Perdika Press... haunting, yet contemporary. The imagery is as original and fresh as we would expect from Petrucci."   Envoi 152 (February 09)

"Subtle, layered modern poetry... a feeling of depth and intelligence, persuading me that there is considerably more to these poems than I have yet had time to unearth. Somehow simultaneously transparent and mysterious... the best poetry is of its time without being merely contemporary."   
Sphinx 10 (June 09)     Click here for the full review.

"Fascinating poems... the blend of a touch of light absurdism and urbane media-conscious modernity, with cool classicism... a kind of lesbian version of Ernest Hemingway."   Horizon Review #4 (May 2010)

"Petrucci provokes with incongruous colloquialisms and ribaldry, which makes for startling reading."   Poetry Review 100:3 (Autumn 2010)

Click here... for sample audio from Sappho, courtesy of Archive of the Now.

Sappho - two excerpts

Pick any path of concrete or crock to this
spirited place, whose orchard-body belongingly
offers that flickering, altered aroma –
groves on fire.

Through open apple boughs some cool
will sound you – till our thorn-rose brightens
shade and afterwards sleep whispers down,
shaken with softness.

Mine is grass for the mare to nuzzle who
blooms the lowest field into Spring
with warm waft of honey
in the making…

I want you to come, foam-born, my is-
land, my Venus – take each cup we are and
let flow the sweet, leisured as molasses, to mix
us in pleasure.


Death, lie there.   Still.   No one here
will indulge you, or tell there was no poetry
in you – only a knack for deadheading roses.   No slack
whiff of you, then, no blip of shadow, blending in
in Hell – that hip departure lounge…

        (c) Mario Petrucci 2008  


copyright mario petrucci 2001