Chapter I: Previous Response
The Critical Difference
Nobody’s, there is nothing for any of us
Except that fearful vacillating around the central
Question that brings us closer,
For better or for worse, for all this time.
These two elements which Page chooses to emphasize represent, I agree, important moments of the poem, and Page elucidates them. It is, however, indicative of his approach that he begins with and points up these places and does not treat of the poem’s ritual elements, the hymnic epithets and ritual forms of prayer, until the middle of his interpretation, when he dismisses them as the “traditional and stately form” which Sappho “impose[s]” on a “wholly personal matter.”