Sappho the Lesbian Poet

The ancient Greek poet Sappho born in Lesvos: Born in Eressos on the island of Lesvos, Sappho was a famous poet, whose work is popular even today because of its unique style. Believed to have been born in a noble family and later married to a wealthy man, Sappho was also said to have a daughter named Cleis. The life of Sappho or as she was originally named, Psapfa, is not completely documented and leaves a lot of room for assumptions.

Many of these assumptions led to her being believed to have been a lesbian, or lover of women, though there is no proof to support this theory. Another theory claims that Sappho leaped to her death from a cliff, on the island of Levkas, all because of her unrequited love for a young boatman called Phaon.

All these might be just theories, but the one fact about Sappho is that she was a very talented poet. Her work was appreciated immensely by the community and even long after her death, she lives through her work. She is believed to have taught her poetry to a group of young women and later grew so attached to them that she composed bridal odes for each one of them when they left to get married. This fact led to the birth of the theory of Sappho being a lesbian as poet Anacreon, commented that Sappho was a lesbian whose feelings towards these women were sexual. This also led to the formation of words, such as "lesbianism" or "sapphism", indicating homosexuality in women.

Sappho is believed to have written nine books of odes, wedding songs, hymns, and elegies, but only a few of these remain. Some fragments were discovered as recently as the 20th century, written on papyrus and they were a remarkable discovery. One of her most famous works is the Ode to Aphrodite, which was quoted by the famous scholar of the 1st century, Dionysius of Halicarnassus.

Another famous contribution of Sappho was the verse form Sapphics, which requires that each stanza be 4 lines long with the first three lines required to contain 11 syllables, and the last line only 5 syllables. Having inspired many future Greek poets, Sappho's contribution to the world of poetry has been immense. Her work is refreshingly unique due to the simplicity with which she portrays intense emotions. A true gem in the crown of poetry, Sappho's work will continue to inspire as long as poets exist.