Love and Lesbos: The Poetry of Sappho

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Taught by David Wright

David Wright has been teaching Classics for over 10 years. He has taught students at many different levels from middle school to the collegiate level. He received an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in Classics, and is currently a lecturer in Classics at Fordham University. He is interested in the Greek and Roman world and its reception today, and has published on topics ranging from the poetry of the Aeneid to representations of sexual violence in art. David is constantly exploring ways that the ancient world interfaces with our own and how Classics can be used to foster discussions about social justice in contemporary society. You can follow him on Twitter: @rmavirumquecano.


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someone will remember us

      I say

      even in another time … 

This is one of the many haunting and beautiful fragments of poetry we have from Sappho today. 

Who was Sappho? One of the few surviving female voices from the ancient world, she inspired generations of poets and writers, ancient and modern. She was referred to as the “10th Muse.” Because her poetry only survives in fragments, there are many questions looming around this riveting figure. Was she a teacher of young women? Was she a director of choral poetry? Why was she exiled from her home in Lesbos? Can we read her poetry autobiographically? Given her famous association with same-sex desire, can we think of her as a “Lesbian” in the modern sense of the word? What does Sappho mean for us today? How can we use Sappho to think about gender and sexuality then and now? 

Participants will receive electronic copies of the fragments of Sappho’s poetry before the event, so they can come prepared to discuss together.


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