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Sappho’s Poem: I Have Not Had One Word Form Her

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Letting go. This is the most difficult part or phase in a usual relationship. But this also shows that we, as individuals, are strong and ready enough to face the next challenges in our life. People let go not just because it is over but because they want to know their worth without what they’re letting go.

From the poem ‘I have not had one word from her’ I intended to title my paper “Forget-me-not” because based from what I’ve read and understand the persona of the poem (which is a lover) is ready to let go of her loved one (addressee), but she still wants her loved one to reminisce on their past relationship. As stated on the second line of the poem, the persona wishes to die when her loved one wept for leaving. Wept maybe because it is difficult for her to leave the person she loves. Though her loved one says she will depart unwillingly, the lover still let go her loved one as long as she will remember her being suffered and unfree from their love. As stated also on the poem, the lover wants her loved one to promise that she will still reminisce on their routines during the time they were still in a relationship. She wants her loved one to think of the wonderful things they shared together – from this line the persona was referring to their gifts to Aphrodite, known as the Greek god of love and beauty. From the tiaras and the flowers braided as necklace to perfumes poured on head and of soft mats. These unusual things could be key or proof that these two lovers are really attached on each other for a short or a long time. It is believe that tiaras symbolizes power and braiding different flowers like rosebud, dill and crocus could represent binding love, which shows that the person really values her loved one.

But among these, noticeably that the title and the first line of the poem is a mystery. What could be that one word Sappho’s talking about? What could be the word she didn’t receive? I guess that one word could be GOODBYE. Why? Because in a relationship, it is the hardest thing to say and it’s hard as breaking a precious glass. And besides, I believe Sappho didn’t receive this word because her loved one wouldn’t like her to suffer more upon leaving her. Or it would also be that her loved one still doesn’t want to end their relationship since she said that she will go unwillingly. Unfortunately, Sappho didn’t realize what could her loved one means ‘to go unwillingly’ more so of not saying goodbye, so, she let her loved one go and wish her happiness even if it’s killing her inside.

On the other side of the coin, there’s still good thing about Sappho’s letting go. She still wants her loved one to remember her by reminiscing on what they have done while they were still together. Maybe Sappho said these things because she believes that this is a way of telling her loved one that letting go is difficult but bringing back the memories with the ones you loved will ease the pain of breaking apart.

• Moorings: Readings in World Literature (2012)
• Atsma, Aaaron J. (2011). Aphrodite: Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty. Retrieved date January 29, 2013 from http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Aphrodite.html

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