An exploration of the fascinating poetry, life, and world of Sappho, including a complete translation of all her poems.
Searching for Sappho: The Lost Songs and World of the First Woman Poet (W.W. Norton, paperback release March 21, 2017), is the exciting tale of the rediscovery of Sappho’s poetry and of the woman and world they reveal, by a noted classicist and master storyteller.
For more than twenty-five centuries, all that the world knew of the poems of Sappho―the first woman writer in literary history―were a few brief quotations preserved by ancient male authors. Yet those meager remains showed such power and genius that they captured the imagination of readers through the ages. But within the last century, dozens of new pieces of her poetry have been found written on crumbling papyrus or carved on broken pottery buried in the sands of Egypt. As recently as 2014, yet another discovery of a missing poem created a media stir around the world.
The poems of Sappho reveal a remarkable woman who lived on the Greek island of Lesbos during the vibrant age of the birth of western science, art, and philosophy. Sappho was the daughter of an aristocratic family, a wife, a devoted mother, a lover of women, and one of the greatest writers of her own or any age. Nonetheless, although most people have heard of Sappho, the story of her lost poems and the lives of the ancient women they celebrate has never been told for a general audience.