Mother and Me,

My piece focussing on identity has really guided me to areas in my past I didn’t think I’d enjoy.

But on the contrary, it has helped me remember the strength my family had through tough times and the understanding that I am truly made through my experiences.

Sappho –

Sappho of Lesbos was an archaic Greek poet (615-530 BCE) who is known for her lyric poetry, which was sung and accompanied by the instrument of the lyre.

Sappho’s poems mainly revolved around the aspects of eros, desire and womanly lust which made her a key symbol in queer identity and influence.

Even though many historians, especially throughout antiquity, attempted to erase the elements of homoeroticism throughout her work and credited to her name, it is without a doubt that the ‘violent crowned, pure, sweetly smiling Sappho’ (Alcaeus) was a pioneer for female sensual expression and sexuality and can be considered a martyr for the introduction of lesbianism in literature then and now.

Lesbos –

The island, Lesbos can be found in the north-eastern Aegean Sea and was the home of Sappho until she was exiled to Sicily in 600 BCE.

The island was mainly renowned for the infamous beauty and sexual behaviour of its women, which is supported by Alcaeus’ remark in his Fragment 130B that female beauty contests were held to honour the goddess Hera.

Due to the nature of female sensuality around Lesbos, and to the writings of Sappho, the term ‘lesbian’ was coined. It first meant the act of a woman giving oral sex to a man; however, it soon became to represent the modern meaning of the term in the late 19th century.

“Now I am thinking of Anacroria

Who is not here with me.

I would rather see her lovely walk,

and her gleaming face,

Than look at all the chariots of the Lydians

And the foot soldiers with their weapons!

[…]”

– Sappho’s Fragment 16

More