Sappho promises the girl anything and says she’s in pain:
if she can’t see her, she’ll die, she swears on papyri;
the fragments are postage stamp in size with water stains.
Sappho tells her she has nothing to lose, everything to gain—
feet away from a page from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
while Sappho promises the girl anything, saying she’s in pain.
In the Frankenstein draft leaf, the plan is to salvage remains
and create the new man (with edits suggested by Percy)—
Sappho’s papyri fragments look like stamps with water stains.
Sappho tells the girl that only physical presence will sustain
love (and then admits, to have her, she’ll lie, if need be—
Sappho will promise the girl anything because she’s in pain).
In Mary’s small handwriting, to answer Percy, she maintains
that she has a different view from his regarding misery —
Sappho’s fragments just look like postage with water stains.
My wife and I stayed with our friends in Oxford. Our train
took us from the Roman ruins of Hadrian’s wall and quarry
down to Oxford, Mary and Sappho writing about their pain,
the papyri fragments looking like postage with water stains.