The winner of many awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship, American poet and translator A.E. Stallings studied classics in Athens, Georgia, and Oxford, U.K. In 1999 she emigrated to Athens, Greece, where she lives with her husband, journalist John Psaropoulos, and their two children. She has published several critically acclaimed collections of original verse and translations of ancient Greek writers, including Lucretius and Hesiod. Stallings, who has said that literary translation is “about crossing borders,” attempts in “Empathy” to cross the imaginative border between her own comparatively safe, secure existence and the experience of strangers risking their lives to reach that safety. The poem invites us to question the values we live by, our motives for responding to others in need, and our sense of what empathy means and can do.
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Literary Matters 9:1
Reading - Short Enough to Read Aloud.
How do we respond to strangers?How do we respond to the suffering of others? How would we like others to respond to our own?How do we define love? How do we show love?How does a person learn compassion?What does empathy look like?Can selfish motives result in positive action?What motivates us to act in the world?How should we respond to people and communities in need?