- THE GREEK POET -
Welcome to some background notes on a famous Greek poet.
Sappho was an ancient Greek female poet who wrote lyrical poetry famous for its intense passion and description of love. Being born on the Isle of Lesbos she is also referred to as the first Lesbian poet.
Little is known of her actual life, though she was born around 620BC, and died approximately 50 years later.
Details of her life are hard to piece together as there are few reliable sources. For example, historians are unsure about whether to take her poetry as reliable autobiographical evidence.
However, evidence from the period suggests she was temporarily exiled to Sicily because of political troubles on the island of Lesbos.
Sapphos is sometimes referred to as a lesbian. The word lesbian is actually derived from her place of birth – lesbos. However, there is no hard evidence about her sexuality. Her poems express great passion for a variety of people – both men and women; they may have been autobiographical or not.
Poetry of Sappho
The poetry of Sappho often revolves around themes of love and passion, and has a clarity and simplicity of language; within her poems, there is great vividness and directness. The style is often conversational – giving an impression of immediacy and action. The poems were also sung to music, meaning they needed to be lyrical in form.
Clancy's comment: She was born a hell of a long time ago, and here she is on my blog. Wonders never cease, eh?