#470 — Sapphic Song;

The nightingale
Of Lesbos. Her lyrics
Captivated, stoic hearts a


Little is known of Sappho’s life, and her work survives only in fragments. She lived on the Greek island of Lesbos off the coast of Asia Minor, probably in its main city Mytilene. She had a brother, and a daughter Kleis. Famous for her love of women (hence ‘Lesbian’, ‘Sapphic’) she is the first, great, individual lyric voice of Europe, recognised as such in ancient times. At the beginning of the European poetic tradition, a woman speaks for herself, and with an experience subtly different from the male experience.

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