Pure Pagan: Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments, trans. Burton Raffel (Modern Library, 2004)
I seem to be on a classics/translations track lately. Nothing offensive, but very little memorable either about these version of classical Greek lyric. Indeed, there seems to be a strong scent of "sweepings," which is perhaps explained by Raffel's professed desire to avoid redoing poems more strikingly translated by Dudley Fitts, Guy Davenport, Mary Barnard – in other words, to try to find some decent leavings in an already pretty well-glean'd field. Drinking, death, bravery – not nearly enough sex. Guy D. contributes a scattered introduction, a fair specimen of his late, unfortunate essay style – all over the place but very occasionally to the point. Heart not in it.