Teacher Guide

Sappho: Poems and Fragments Lesson Plan

Introduction to Sappho: Poems and Fragments

Despite the mysteries that shroud her life, we know that Sappho's work was highly acclaimed in her time. Nine volumes of her poetry were once collected in the ancient Library of Alexandria, and she was hailed as the "Tenth Muse" by Plato. Though present-day scholars and readers still delight in Sappho's poetry, our experience of her work is very different from that of her contemporaries. Over time, almost all of Sappho's poems have been lost, and the rediscovered papyrus manuscripts are fragmented and damaged.

Nevertheless, Sappho's distinct voice is still perceptible in these fragments. Her major themes and focuses are romantic love (particularly between women), worship of the gods,...

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