Sappho

Sappho
Only greek female whose ancient works still last today. Talented and admired for her antiquity (the ancient past)

What remains of Sappho
not much, collection of 2 complete poems, and a collection of quotes

Impact of Sapphos poems
The poems give us the most vivid education of joys and sorrows of desire in all of Greek Lit

Womens Influence
How did Sappho gain influence with her writing in a male dominant society? The voice of the story is different from that of other works at the time for her peers were male. A undeniable feminine voice comes through in her writings. Her writing is more descriptive and makes use of imagery while depicting the scene more effectively then her male counterparts.

Imagery
The poems were originally prepared to be preformed by a group of women. These poems or songs actively captured the actions, emotions, and images better then the text.

Poem 1
pg, 637.
Summary- Sappho wants help with getting a lover, asks Aphrodite, reminds Aphrodite all the times she’s obliged before when she asks for her help. Aphrodite assures her love will be returned. Does not state whether her love is male or female in the first half.

speaker/conflict of poem 1
speaker-Sappho, unknown for the first 5 stanzas
conflict- sappho has unreturned love and asks for Aphrodite to help her ensnare the reluctant lover.

“Muckiness” in Poem 1
the unrequited lover is not specified early on. Sappho in the introduction (pg. 635) is said to be married and have a daughter. This would lead some readers astray as they would find out the unreturned love to be female, not male. According to the introduction (pg. 635) we know very little about same sex relationships and how people viewed them in Greece. Sapphos poems were the inspiration for the creation of the meaning of lesbian. Her poems show a world where women live together enjoying activities in which the women were fully engaged.

Wordplay in poem 1
“Dealthless Aphrodite of the Spangled Mind”, the first line, has two meanings depending on how the reader interprets the word Spangled. Spangled could refer to a surface shimmering with bright colors or to the goddess Aphrodite having a fickle mind.

examples of Imagery in poem 1
1.”Spangled” as a descriptive word to the chair or mind of Aphrodite.
2.”…with hard pains.”
3.”whipping their wings down the sky”

Tone of poem one
strained, very passionate, womanly voice

Sapphos use of Aphrodite
Aphrodite is the Goddess of Sexual Desire. Sappho uses her not to personify the speakers own desires, but instead Aphrodite is presented as real and terrifying; able to control the situation to her desire, manipulating while still helping Sapphos reach where she wants to go. (1.Compare the theme of Predestination and the meddling of Aphrodite in Poem 1 to how the characters in Gilgamesh interact with the gods. Similarities/Differences? 2. How does the theme of love differ in Sapphos poem 1 then in Gilgamesh? (Potential Essay questions)

Poem 16
(pg. 638)(shows feminine voice). Instead of talking about who fought in the trojan war this account tell of a woman in love. In this poem, Sappho compares two “beauties” against one another: soldiers (what men view as beauty) and love/desire(what sappho believes to be beauty). She states that even though the soldiers are considered the most beautiful, she thinks it is love. She says that even Helen left her husband for another man. (unheard of at the time, the woman never left the man). goes on to say that she knows how Helen felt, because now her love is gone and she only wishes to see her and not chariots.Uses Helen’s longing for what she loves as a metaphor to what Sappho wants in her love life

Structure of Poem 16
At the end of the 3rd stanza and beginning of the 4th, the mutilated papyrus tells us something lead Helen astray. (Read page 637)

Poem 31
Page( 639) Shows themes of jealousy, alienation and rage. The speaker is Sapphos describing as she watches in jealousy as she watches the woman she loves talk to a man. When Sapphos describes her actions as she watched on she uses vivid imagery by saying, “put my heart in my chest on wings” and “fire is racing under the skin.”

Poem 44
Sapphos uses the story of the Illiad and repackages it to concentrate on the marriage between the protagonists rather then war.