Remembering Sappho in Lesvos

In recent years, Lesvos -- because of its associations with the poet Sappho (ca. 612 B.C.?) -- has become a favorite destination of lesbians from many parts of the world. Although little is known about Sappho's life, it is accepted that she was born here; Eressos, in the far west corner, is now the favored site, and as such, has become a popular destination. It is also accepted that she was the leader of some sort of circle of young women; certainly some of her finest verses express warm feelings toward females. But it is not really clear that she was herself a lesbian -- she married and had a daughter. Little of her poetry survives, but what there is has retained the admiration of readers and critics. So by all means, come to Lesvos in tribute to Sappho, but don't make a big deal with the locals out of associating the island with modern lesbians -- the locals are not especially pleased about this. And don't forget that the tribute that authors really want is that their works be read.

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