Lesbian Poetry. Empasizes on Sappho

Essay by sexycherryCollege, UndergraduateB+, November 1996

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Since the beginning of time writers have expressed their deepest thoughts and desires through poetry. In poetry, writers have found that they can express a thought, a memory, a person, a landscape, etc. More often authors write about love, both physical and mental. Found in this genre of love is intimate imagery, suggestive language, and exotic fanticies. Most published love poems express love relationships between men and women but what most anthologies and collections leave out are those that imply relationships involving individuals of the same gender, specifically women. Writers in all literary eras have eloquently described this romantic love between women. A few of the poets who wrote of homosexual love were in fact honored during their life, while others of them in more recent times have risked their careers as writers because they or their material were lesbian.

Sappho was a pioneer in many aspects of Greek culture.

One of the great Greek lyrists and little known female poets of the ancient world, Sappho was born soon after 630BC. Aristocratic herself, she married a merchant and had a daughter named Cleis (Robinson 24). Her wealth gave her the chance to live however she chose, and she chose to spend her life studying the arts on the isle of Lesbos which was a cultural center in the seventh century BC. Sappho spent a majority of her time here, but she also traveled extensively through Greece (Robinson 35). She spent time in Sicily too, because she was exiled due to certain activities of her family. The residents of Syracuse were so honored of her presence that to pay homage to her they built a statue of her because she had become a well-known poet (Cantarello 56).

She was determined a lyrist because her poems were to be performed with the...