Sappho – Greek poet
Sappho was a Greek lyric poet. She is one of the most important of the poets of the ancient Greek world. Her vivid, emotional manner of writing influenced poets through the ages.
She was born circa 625. However, the exact date of her birth and death are unknown. She was born in the city of Mytilene on the island of Lesbos in a noble family. She had three brothers. She is said to have married a wealthy man named Cercylas and had a daughter named Cleis.
Around the year 600 BC she was forced into exile to the island of Sicily, but was able to return.
She created the Sapphic stanza and may have been the first to accompany her poems with a harp.
In 1073 Pope Gregory VII likely burned any of her books that still survived, because her poetry was erotic and concerned with love between women. Typical topics of her poems are the worlds of beauty, personal relationships, and love.
Plato called her the “tenth Muse,” referring to the nine Greek goddesses who were the patrons of the arts and sciences.
An asteroid discovered in 1864 was named in her honor.