23 April 2017

The Problem with Sappho

                                            by Charles Rafferty

The Problem with Sappho

Only one complete poem remains. The rest of it is berries left in the
bramble after a visit from midday starlings. For years I couldn't
understand how this redaction moved anyone to tears. She was a
dampness in the matchbook. But the world is patient. Eventually the
diamond travels from the mantle to the finger of the woman you love.
Eventually the light from an exploded star arrives to confirm the
emperor's power. It's clear now that a very old bruise can tell us how
hard someone was punched. The detective solves a murder with the help of a single hair. Archaeologists find a molar and build a face to fit.

from The New Yorker  2/27/2017

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