If Not Winter Sappho Analysis

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Desire is a consuming force that causes the body to act without consulting the mind. Anne Carson’s translation of Sappho’s fragments in, If Not Winter, creates experiences in which, eros produces a gap between the subject and the desired object. With the use of vivid imagery and overt symbolism within fragment 105A, Sappho allows her readers to experience the uncontrollable forces of desire and attraction which govern a person who is in love; even if such feelings are irrational. This ultimately creates a tangible distance between the subject and the object she desires. In this paper, I will argue that longing after an unattainable person becomes so consuming that it eventually produces madness within the desiring individual. It is important …show more content…

Fragment 47 and 105 both use nature to symbolize the control that eros has over something that should be natural like falling in love. It forces the subject to develop an almost carnal urge to get an unattainable object. The effect of the “wind falling on oak trees” illustrates that the tree is effected by this consuming force, but is unable to do anything about it. Likewise, the subject’s mind is also overcome by eros. The individual in the poem is entering the beginning stages of madness; which can be inferred from the line, “Eros shook my mind.” In this instance, the mind is being shaken by the uncontrollable forces of lust, desire, and attraction. The subject of the poem is losing awareness and the ability to reason as the yearning for another intensifies. As with fragment 105A, fragment 47 expresses how the subject has no control over who she falls in love with because eros is the driving …show more content…

The burning symbolizes the force of eros consuming the subject which causes the subject pain. The ‘cooled’ and ‘burned’ also create a juxtaposition that can be analyzed to express what turmoil the mind is undergoing. The subject directly says, “I was crazy for you” This line clearly expresses how significantly the madness has advanced because she admits, that the longing made her crazy. However, after the object is obtained the fire is slightly distinguished the subject is not as

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