Poetry of Sappho Sappho was a female poet in ancient Greece. She was aristocratic and she married a prosperous man and had a daughter Kleis. Her poems were lyric poetry, sang in public accompanied by a lyre or flute. Although written many years ago, her poetry contains many issues that are still pertinent today. The emotions she conveys include things such as admiration, desire, loyalty, and love. Often she directs these emotions toward other women, sometimes even thought to be the adolescent girls she taught. Therefore her poetry is frequently interpreted as being homoerotic. However, in her time this type of action was accepted as normal.
The women and girls she taught all worshiped Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Therefore they honored her by imitation. This meant that they would participate in acts of love and, since they were mostly women, they inevitably took part in lesbian acts.
Sappho did love the women she taught. She nurtured and adored them. She wrote poems of love about them and when they left to be married she wrote their wedding song. Sappho's poems have become so associated with women-love that the word lesbian is derived from Lesbos, the island where Sappho lived.
Many of her poems are translated in different ways depending on the opinions and preferences of the translator. Some contain sections that seem highly homosexual, while that same poem translated by a more conservative translator will interpret it as being much less passionate. It is also thought that ultra-conservative scholars could have destroyed some of her poetry in previous centuries because of the suggested homosexual preference in them.
Sappho's passionate words and descriptions of desire and admiration for other women have caused many readers to presume that she was a lesbian. If she did participate in such...