Sappho was a highly admired and well-regarded poet of antiquity. She was born around 630 BCE and died around 570 BCE. Unfortunately for us, not much is known about her outside of what can be inferred from her poetry, and even that has only survived in fragments. Nonetheless, her influence as a poet lives on, and the beauty and power of her words seeps through the fragments that remain.
For a good introduction to Sappho’s poems, Anne Carson’s translation, If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho is well worth a read. Carson employs brackets and white space to denote missing text and gives you a vision of the poems as a whole.
Sappho may be far from us now, but her poems do still connect with us though the fragments that we have. They are poems about love, longing, loss, and everyday life. And so, we celebrate her vision.