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The Classical World
Vol. 101, No. 4 (Summer, 2008), pp. 435-442
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press on behalf of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25471966
Page Count: 8
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Chariots, Lyric poetry, Poetic themes, Humor, Sparrows, Hyperbole, Punch lines, Poetry, Religious poetry, Natural satellites
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In Sappho 1.10 Aphrodite's chariot is drawn by sparrows. Perhaps the best explanation of this choice of draft animal is Sappho's distinctive compositional style, which characteristically employs unexpected word play and conceptually odd combinations. Moreover, Sappho elsewhere uses humorous hyperbole concerning incongruous size. The sequence has the structure of a joke: two unremarkable items set up the hearer for a punch line. Thus there is evidence that the poem is lighthearted humor, whatever else it may be.
The Classical World © 2008 The Johns Hopkins University Press