Skip to content

Welcome guest

Please login or register


The term "Sapphic" can have several meanings, depending on the context. Here are three major interpretations:

1. Sappho of Lesbos: Arguably the most significant figure associated with the term, Sappho was a poet who lived on the Greek island of Lesbos around 630-570 BCE. Few complete poems of hers survive, but fragments and ancient accounts preserve her legacy as a master of lyric poetry. Her verses celebrated love, beauty, loss, and the complexities of female experience, often addressing them to other women. Notably, Sappho's poems express an intensity and sensuality rarely seen in ancient literature, particularly amongst women writers.

2. Sapphic verse: Named after Sappho's influence, "Sapphic verse" refers to a specific meter in ancient Greek and Latin poetry. It consists of three lines of eleven syllables (hendecasyllables) followed by a fifth line of five syllables (adonic). This rhythmic pattern creates a distinct musicality and flow, well-suited for expressing personal emotions and intimate themes. Many of Sappho's surviving poems utilize this meter, cementing its association with her name.

3. Lesbian: In modern times, "Sapphic" has become associated with lesbianism, particularly in literary spheres. This connection stems from the homoerotic content of Sappho's poems and the historical understanding of Lesbos as a center of female same-sex relationships. Although the term "lesbian" didn't exist in ancient Greece, Sappho's work has had a profound impact on LGBTQ+ identity and the representation of queer love in literature.

Therefore, depending on the context, "Sapphic" can refer to the legendary poet Sappho, the specific verse meter she often used, or, more broadly, lesbian or lesbian-related themes in literature and culture. Its enduring legacy reminds us of the power of female voices and the timeless exploration of love, desire, and the human experience.

Your Cart

Your cart is currently empty

You might like...

Your Wishlist