WRITER

Sappho

630 BC - 570 BC

Photo of Sappho

Icon of person Sappho

Sappho (; Greek: Σαπφώ Sapphṓ [sap.pʰɔ̌ː]; Aeolic Greek Ψάπφω Psápphō; c. 630 – c. 570 BC) was an Archaic Greek poet from Eresos or Mytilene on the island of Lesbos. Sappho is known for her lyric poetry, written to be sung while accompanied by music. In ancient times, Sappho was widely regarded as one of the greatest lyric poets and was given names such as the "Tenth Muse" and "The Poetess". Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Sappho has received more than 4,693,975 page views. Her biography is available in 108 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 106 in 2019). Sappho is the 52nd most popular writer (down from 48th in 2019), the 20th most popular biography from Greece (up from 21st in 2019) and the 6th most popular Greek Writer.

Sappho is most famous for her love poetry.

Memorability Metrics

  • 4.7M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 80.12

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 108

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 11.36

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 4.49

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Notable Works

Sappho
Literary Criticism
These hundred poems and fragments constitute virtually all of Sappho that survives and effectively bring to life the woman whom the Greeks consider to be their greatest lyric poet. Mary Barnard's translations are lean, incisive, direct—the best ever published. She has rendered the beloved poet's verses, long the bane of translators, more authentically than anyone else in English.
The songs of Sappho
Sapphous melē
Poems and Fragments
Lesbos Island (Greece)
If Not, Winter
Poetry
By combining the ancient mysteries of Sappho with the contemporary wizardry of one of our most fearless and original poets, If Not, Winter provides a tantalizing window onto the genius of a woman whose lyric power spans millennia. Of the nine books of lyrics the ancient Greek poet Sappho is said to have composed, only one poem has survived complete. The rest are fragments. In this miraculous new translation, acclaimed poet and classicist Anne Carson presents all of Sappho’s fragments, in Greek and in English, as if on the ragged scraps of papyrus that preserve them, inviting a thrill of discovery and conjecture that can be described only as electric—or, to use Sappho’s words, as “thin fire . . . racing under skin.” "Sappho's verse has been elevated to new heights in [this] gorgeous translation." --The New York Times "Carson is in many ways [Sappho's] ideal translator....Her command of language is hones to a perfect edge and her approach to the text, respectful yet imaginative, results in verse that lets Sappho shine forth." --Los Angeles Times
Hai tou Anakreontos ōdai, kai ta tēs Sapphous, kai ta tou Alkaiou leipsana
Sappho
Greek poetry, Translations into English, Sappho
Poems and Fragments
Greek poetry, Lesbian poetry, Poetry
Little remains today of the writings of the archaic Greek poet Sappho (fl. late 7th and early 6th centuries B.C.E.), whose work is said to have filled nine papyrus rolls in the great library at Alexandria some 500 years after her death. The surviving texts consist of a lamentably small and fragmented body of lyric poetry--among them, poems of invocation, desire, spite, celebration, resignation, and remembrance--that nevertheless enables us to hear the living voice of the poet Plato called the tenth Muse. Stanley Lombardo's translations give us a virtuoso embodiment of Sappho's voice, whose telltale charm, authority, immediacy, directness, intensity, and sudden changes of tone are among the hallmarks of his masterly translation. Pamela Gordon introduces us to the world of Sappho, discusses questions surrounding the transmission of her manuscripts, offers advice on reading these texts, and concludes with an enlightening discussion of same-sex desire in Sappho.
Sappho
Greek poetry, Translations into English, Women authors
Alcée. Sapho
Sappho
Greek Love poetry, Greek poetry, Lesbian poetry
Alcée. Sapho
Sappho
Greek poetry, Translations into English, Women authors
Hai tou Anakreontos ōdai, kai ta tēs Sapphous, kai ta tou Alkaiou leipsana
Poems and Fragments
Greek poetry, Lesbian poetry, Poetry
Little remains today of the writings of the archaic Greek poet Sappho (fl. late 7th and early 6th centuries B.C.E.), whose work is said to have filled nine papyrus rolls in the great library at Alexandria some 500 years after her death. The surviving texts consist of a lamentably small and fragmented body of lyric poetry--among them, poems of invocation, desire, spite, celebration, resignation, and remembrance--that nevertheless enables us to hear the living voice of the poet Plato called the tenth Muse. Stanley Lombardo's translations give us a virtuoso embodiment of Sappho's voice, whose telltale charm, authority, immediacy, directness, intensity, and sudden changes of tone are among the hallmarks of his masterly translation. Pamela Gordon introduces us to the world of Sappho, discusses questions surrounding the transmission of her manuscripts, offers advice on reading these texts, and concludes with an enlightening discussion of same-sex desire in Sappho.
Sappho
Greek Love poetry, Greek poetry, Lesbian poetry
Sappho
Greek poetry, Translations into English, Sappho

Among WRITERS

Among writers, Sappho ranks 52 out of 7,302Before her are Aristophanes, Jane Austen, Aeschylus, Simone de Beauvoir, Octave Mirbeau, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. After her are Thomas Mann, Mark Twain, Gabriel García Márquez, George Orwell, Astrid Lindgren, and Oscar Wilde.

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Contemporaries

Among people born in 630 BC, Sappho ranks 2Before her is Nebuchadnezzar II. After her are Jehoahaz of Judah, Stesichorus, and Amytis of Media. Among people deceased in 570 BC, Sappho ranks 1After her is Pittacus of Mytilene.

Others Born in 630 BC

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Others Deceased in 570 BC

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In Greece

Among people born in Greece, Sappho ranks 20 out of 1,024Before her are Kösem Sultan (1590), Saint Stephen (1), Euripides (-480), Aristophanes (-448), Plutarch (46), and Aeschylus (-525). After her are Philip II of Macedon (-382), Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1921), Protagoras (-486), Thucydides (-460), Bayezid II (1447), and Spartacus (-109).

Among WRITERS In Greece

Among writers born in Greece, Sappho ranks 6Before her are Homer (-800), Sophocles (-497), Euripides (-480), Aristophanes (-448), and Aeschylus (-525). After her are Menander (-342), Pindar (-517), Nikos Kazantzakis (1883), Alcaeus of Mytilene (-620), Archilochus (-680), and Nâzım Hikmet (1902).