Sappho

(c. 600 BCE / Greece)

Sappho
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The only contemporary source which refers to Sappho's life is her own body of poetry, and scholars are skeptical of biographical readings of it. Later biographical traditions, from which all more detailed accounts derive, have also been cast into doubt.

An Oxyrhynchus papyrus from around AD 200 and the Suda agree that Sappho had a mother called Cleïs and a daughter by the same name. Two preserved fragments of Sappho's poetry refer to a Cleïs. In fragment 98, Sappho addresses Cleïs, saying that she has no way of obtaining a decorated headband for her. Fragment 132 reads in full: "I have a beautiful child who looks like golden flowers, my darling Cleis, for whom I would not ... more »

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Comments about Sappho

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  • Veteran Poet - 1,553 Points Sayeed Abubakar (2/9/2013 8:10:00 AM)

    I am reading your poems how many years later of your death. I do not know who will read my poems two thousand years later. +8801919455479

  • Rookie Bleak House (4/17/2011 9:18:00 AM)

    An immortal goddess of inspiration from the isle of Lesbos, the tenth muse according to Plato himself and a high priestess of enchantment for the enduring beauty and contemporary appeal of her surviving fragments. She lives on eternally.

  • Rookie Linda Hollander (4/10/2008 2:19:00 PM)

    I hope someone can help me. It is my understanding that Winnaretta Singer, the Princesse de Polignac, made many translations of Sappho's poems at the turn of the 20th century (Perhaps between 1900-1914, but possibly not until after WWl) . I would like to find them, but have not been successful so far.

    Is there a Sappho scholar reading this who can help me? If so, please feel free to email me at Linda5051@aol.com as soon as you read this.

    Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.

  • Rookie Rose Noir (9/4/2006 2:11:00 AM)

    Here's another one, not included in this anthology:

    Mountain Wind

    Just as the wind
    in the mountains
    blows the oaks
    assunder, so did
    Eros
    blow my mind.

  • Rookie Rose Noir (9/4/2006 1:42:00 AM)

    It's rare to find so many fragments of her divine lyrics. I'm in Arcadia.......!

  • Rookie - 302 Points Uriah Hamilton (7/12/2005 7:23:00 AM)

    The greatest poet of them all,
    though only beautiful fragments remain
    because of the Christian Era
    fearing her love!

  • Rookie Robert Rorabeck (4/14/2005 3:17:00 PM)

    does anyone know when the Sappho will be reborn and where? i can't wait

Read all 7 comments »
Famous Poets
Best Poem of Sappho

On what is best

Some celebrate the beauty
of knights, or infantry,
or billowing flotillas
at battle on the sea.
Warfare has its glory,
but I place far above
these military splendors
the one thing that you love.

For proof of this contention
examine history:
we all remember Helen,
who left her family,
her child, and royal husband,
to take a stranger's hand:
her beauty had no equal,
but bowed to love's command.

As love then is the power
that none can disobey,
so too my thoughts must follow
my darling far away:...

Read the full of On what is best

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