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Introductory Rant: At a time when Print on Demand has prompted a plethorisation in poetry publishing, it's for the positive that Aberdeenshire poetry press Tapsalteerie have continued to make a virtue of the finished article - the book.
Handmade, often handbound, and always delivered crisp, their poetry collections from Calum Rodger, Ann MacKinnon, Stewart Sanderson and Tom McGrath have been neat, new and second to none.
Modest and yet jam-packed, the same is to be said of Postcards From Sulpicia, which are translations of a poet Sulpicia who is said to have lived in the rein of Augustus.
The discovery of Sulpicia will be as much of a revelation to most as it was the translator, Tristram Fane Saunders, who says that these translations were 'born of anger' - an anger at after having had ten years of Latin education and never having heard her name once.
Likely the most striking thing to be discovered about Sulpicia is that in fact she is the only known woman from Ancient Rome whose poetry survives to this day.
Sulpicia's verses were preserved with those of Tibullus and were for a long time attributed to him. They consist of six elegiac poems and while for a long time academics regarded Sulpicia as an amateur author, notable for nothing but her gender, this view has been challenged and the merit of her poems explored.
Although the collection of extant works by Sulpicia is small, it is still as Tristram Fane Saunders points out, more than exists of Sappho, and he describes here elegiac metre as 'moving between passionate frenzy and urbane cool'.