Monday, February 7, 2022


SAPPHO (Greek, c. 630-570 BCE)

A native of the isle of Lesbos, Sappho has given us two synonymous adjectives for female homosexuality: sapphic and lesbian. In ancient times she was considered one of the greatest lyric poets (her poems were sung), and she was called "Tenth Muse" or simply "The Poetess." Only one of her poems, an "Ode to Aphrodite" (Goddess of Love), is known to us (nearly) complete; the others, comprising perhaps 10,000 lines, are fragmentary or lost. She was exiled with her family around 600 BCE; legend says she killed herself leaping from a cliff for love of a ferryman.


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