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Sappho Biography | Poet

Photo of  Sappho

Sappho is an Ancient Greek lyric poetess. Very little is known about this particular individual. It is known that she was born sometime between 630 and 612 B.C.E. on the island of Lesbos in Greece. It is thought that she died around 570 B.C.E., but the place of her death is not known. In fact, there is an exceptionally small amount of information that is available about her that does not deal with some type of legend. When it comes to known facts, much of the information about her life and even her works of poetry, have been lost.

One thing that is known for certain is that she was exiled from the island of Lesbos to Sicily at some point in her life. It is not known for certain whether or not she was married or had any children, although some accounts claim that she did. She was exiled because of a political uprising that occurred on Lesbos. Essentially, anyone that was seen as a threat was exiled to another area and as such, she was exiled to Sicily. Again, there is very little that is known for certain about the specific details of the political uprising or why Sappho was considered to be a threat to those who eventually gained control of the island in the first place.

Unfortunately, the many books of poetry that were written by Sappho have also faded into relative obscurity. There is very little known about her poetry and much of it has been lost forever. Nine books of her poetry were saved, along with a few extra fragments that did not seem to fit into any particular book or order. Some have speculated that her poetry was actually an autobiography and detailed everything that happened in her own life. Others think that idea is preposterous and believe that she was instead writing straight from her imagination. Unfortunately, there is really no way to tell which theory is correct that this point in time, as there is very little historical information about her life.

One of the reasons that there is so little known about her life is because she lived so long ago. In addition, she lived during a very turbulent time when political leaders were fighting and control of a given region would change very rapidly. This often meant that works were destroyed or that they were simply not available in order to be preserved. As a result, it was already difficult to find much of her work. Over time, there was less demand for it and it was virtually lost because it was no longer published in great enough quantities to be widely read. Despite all of this, she is still considered to be one of the greatest poets of all time. 

Sappho: Poems | Best Poems | Short Poems | Quotes