Sapho lesbian dating

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Like Bowie, though, she has gained a reputation for playing with voices and manipulating our views of gender – which is one reason why so little of her work survives.

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Plato called Sappho the tenth muse, which possibly explains the presence of the deer, sacred to Apollo.

Monks didn’t preserve her poetry, and manuscripts of her work that were held in the Vatican burnt in purifying flames.

These gaps are all the more tormenting because what poetry we have from Sappho is so gorgeous.

The last discovery of a Sappho poem was in 2005, when new techniques of analysing marks on discarded papyrus dumped in Oxyrhynchus, in Egypt, revealed another poem, in which Sappho bemoaned her old age (again with attention to symptoms).

Lachlan Mackinnon translated it in his collection Small Hours. This latest poem emerges from elsewhere – an anonymous collector – and it is the scoop of Dr Dirk Obbink, a Classics fellow at Oxford, who when he saw it declared that it was by Sappho. They are written in her distinctive meter, with the long vowels of the Lesbian dialect.

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