The Dust of Timas

(1977)

"The Dust of Timas" is the sixth song in Frank Lewin's Variations of Greek Themes.

"The Dust of Timas" is a musical setting in which the text is fragmented. This treatment was suggested by the mutilated form in which several of Sappho's poems have come down to us: on strips of papyrus used to wrap Egyptian mummies. The strong, personal feelings of the poet are perceived as if through a veil, with explicit meanings conveyed only intermittently.

The Dust of Timas (Sappho)
by Edwin Arlington Robinson


This dust was Timas; and they say
That almost on her wedding day\t
She found her bridal home to be\t
The dark house of Persephone.\t

And many maidens, knowing then\t
That she would not come back again,
Unbound their curls; and all in tears,\t
They cut them off with sharpened shears.


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