Painting Sappho by Angela Yarber


“Someone, I say, will remember us in the future,” she once wrote.  To my knowledge, she was never dubbed a prophet.  A muse, yes.  A romantic, perhaps.  But never a prophet, rarely holy, and nary an icon.  Until now.   Hailed as one of the best Greek lyric poets, many have tried to forget her, or at least the more provocative elements of her life.  The passionate poet Sappho was born on the island of Lesbos around 620 BCE (sometime between 630-612 BCE).  The word lesbian stems from the place of her birth and her name is the origin of the word sapphic, though most scholars assert that little is known of her actual life and that the majority of her poetry is not autobiographical.  Yet her lyric poetry speaks of love for both sexes and myriad people.

What is more, the idea of homo and heterosexuality are not transhistorical essences…

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