from the Greek Anthology
Of Birds and Flowers
Letters from Nossis
in Lorci, 3rd C., BCE
1. Homage to a Bird
Grieve at her graveside, smile and linger with Rinthon
of Syracuse... that brightest of singers, whose
voice was her own, her loves the leaves of laurels:
that modest, that smallest nightingale of the muse.
2. Oral Tradition
No flavour, no scent can surpass the sweetness and power of love:
I am Nossis – and I suspect you know what I mean.
I burn for its testing taste on my tongue... more than for honey.
Lilacs of Cyprus loved by Thomas Land: rejoice
in the nectar, songs and moans and cries of your yearning flowers.