The Way of the Poem—7th-century BC Sparta


Alkman was a professional poet in Seventh Century BC Sparta, specializing in big productions with music and dancing. Yet this fragment gives voice to Everyman in the between—-between his finite life and the transcendence that allows us to envisage the universals of space in light of human existential response. Davenport’s economic handling of the universals of way, pity, need, and walk without self conscious ‘poetry’ strike one as authentic not only to Alkman but to poetry itself then and now.