Friday, June 12, 2009

Sappho speaks.

My name is Psappha. [suh-fah] Men of Athens dubbed me “Sappho Masculo”. Perhaps they thought that saying I wrote like a man would flatter me. It didn’t. I am proud of who I am. I am Psappha; The Poetess; The Lesbian and I intend to be remembered.

I am not Lesbian, you say. Is it because I lived so long in Syracuse? Or, is it because in modern usage you think my Lesbian citizenship does not qualify me for the term? Is it because I had a husband? How does that matter? I am who I was born. A Lesbian; a poet.

Have you not heard of my Kerkolos? Dare you think I did not come to love him well? I may have married him because I had no choice but I learned to love him for himself. Had I not done so, I would be less than I am and my name would have died before me.

I am Psappha. I was born at Eresus on the isle of Lesbos. My husband came from Andros. A beautiful man he was. As lovely in his way as any of the delicate girls who flocked to me for lessons in music, dance and words; all that my humble gift could teach them. His was a different beauty than that of tender Gyrinna.  Different but no less wonderful, no less pure. I was devastated when I lost him while our daughter was so young.

No true Lesbian can love a man, you insist. What can you know of another woman’s heart? Will you stand before me and my life’s blood, Gongyla when we meet on Olympus and say to me, “You are no true Lesbian”? Will you dare?

Love and a kind heart toward my spouse lessened not the ardor aroused in me when my glance fell upon electrum-haired Atthis; nor the sadness of our parting. Nor did it tarnish the glory that was my soul-shattering union with  my perfect Amazon.

Often in my life Love, the limb-loosener  enflamed my heart toward a velvet-curved woman. But, my love for them took nothing from my daughter’s father. He understood that I needed something more than ‘broidery to fill the months while he sailed the seas.

The gods are generous with their gift of love. They give us all we need and more. The love of a mother for her child. The love of a child for its mother. The love of a man or the love of a woman for a kindred soul. None are the same yet none is diminished by the existence of the others. Rather, each is magnified. Love transcends all earthly values. Its magic is that the more you give away, the more there is to give.

Remember when you decide what a person is or is not that spirit has no gender and love is a thing of sacred spirit. The married homophile you reject today will be some woman’s lover on the morrow. Why should she not be yours?

                                      Sappho Sings Cover


  1. Anonymous7:59 AM

    Nice piece today, Pegs - good intro to your characters and books.

    The Old Silly From Free Spirit Blog

  2. I love the way you write. It's beautiful yet so true. I followed your blog from Marvin's Follow Friday Blogs.

    Nice to meet you(;

  3. I came here through Marvin's Free Spirit blog.

    I'm somewhat of a close-minded or narrow-minded person when it comes to the subject of homosexuality, even though I have very good friends who are gays and a niece who is a lesbian. However, I found your narrative so beautifully and excellently written. You wrote it with love, compassion, honesty, and sensitivity.



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