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Germaine Greer

The Quintessential Love Poem

Hay Festival 2004, 
In her annual poetry lecture at Hay, the formidable Shakespeare scholar and poetry publisher analyses Sappho's Phaentai moi and its Latin version, Catullus's Beatus ille - 'We'll look at the original and the Latin, quickly, and then at English versions. This is the quintessential love poem?: every love poem written in Europe is descended, however distantly, from Sappho's ur-statement of love-longing.'
Germaine Greer