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Little of certainty is known about her life. A native of the island of Lesbos, she resided in its largest city, Mytilene. She composed songs for choral and solo performance on a wide range of themes but is best known for amatory songs focusing on adolescent females.

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She is renowned as the first woman poet in literary history, and her songs have been universally admired throughout antiquity and modernity. Aaron Poochigian was born in He was a visiting professor of Classics at the University of Utah and is currently D.

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  • What Sappho’s Poetry Sounded Like to the Ancient Greeks | The New Yorker.
  • His poems and translations have appeared in a number of journals, including Chimaera , Classical Journal, and Unsplendid. Eliot Award for Rapture.

    Additional information

    The word lesbian means a homosexual woman because Sappho came from the island of Lesbos. Writers in classical Athens and Rome deemed her a great poet and called her the 10th muse. Although only about a twentieth of her poetry remains, and that literally in tatters, Sappho is considered one of the best.

    Stung With Love

    What survives has been delivered to us in moth-eaten papyrus written on by Greek scribes and Roman imitators. Many lines have their conclusion missing; some words lack endings.

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    Generally, give or take a couple of medieval French ladies, you have to wait until Jane Austen for another important woman writer. A classics professor at the University of Texas, Green has written 14 books, including a history of ancient Greece and a biography of Alexander the Great. Historians agree on only a handful of facts about Sappho.

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    • Born in BC to a noble family, she was exiled by an anti-aristocratic government to Sicily. There she married, had a daughter and began her career writing epitaphs, wedding lyrics and offerings to the gods.

      » Sappho’s poetic fragments Reflections on Great Literature

      She looks back on her family, her loves and her role in politics. As Green describes her, Sappho is self-centered, honest and, like most successful writers, ruthless. The love affairs are--I hate to say it--repetitive.