Everything the flower-loving bee you’re named for does, you do, my Melissa, and I take it to heart.
You drop honey from your lips when you sweetly kiss, and when you want money, can give a mean sting. The ancient poetry gathered in Acts of Love pays tart and tender tribute to passion, and to the power that Aphrodite and her son, Eros, hold over mortals–male and female, young and old. With vivid and surprisingly modern language, these poems and epigrams remind us how little, in ways of the heart, the human condition changes over time. Ardent, ecstatic, ironic, despairing, and brilliantly witty, these marvelous verses celebrate every aspect of love. Some are lyrical (“O feet, shins, thighs that just destroy me . . . O little cries that stir me!”) some are flippant (“You with the roses, you’re pretty rosy yourself. / So what’s for sale? You? The roses? Or both?”). Others display come-ons (“Since you’re so open to strangers, / how about a little drink for me”) and put-downs (“As for / Neoboule, some other guy can have her. / Hey, she’s overripe and twice your age”). Eminent poet and scholar George Economou has translated this fresh bouquet of love poems primarily from sources stretching back to the originals by way of the classic compilation The Greek Anthology. The poems span many centuries, focusing on the Greek writers’ rich and varied expressions of physical passion.
Such is the quality of Economou’s direct and idiomatic translations that the poems manage to embrace their ancient origins and the moods of today’s erotic encounters.