Sunday, January 23, 2011
Okay, well, obviously Sappho wasn't the first lesbian. But she seems to be the first one in recorded history... And it's her home, the island of Lesbos, in Greece, that brought the word lesbian into usage.
In January, we read and discussed Sappho's poems in a collection called "If Not, Winter" by Anne Carson. It was interesting to see how the historians and translators worked to bring such a body of poetry to life. The poems are found on old papyrus scraps. Shards. Like in the photo I'm attaching here. So in some cases the poems are nearly intact. In others, there is much left to the imagination. In some cases, it's hard to understand why the editor bothered to include one word on a page, although sometimes that one word did seem be evocative.
Some members felt that using the broken fragments of poetry would be wonderful in an English class. Ask students to fill in the blanks. What a wonderful idea!
February's title is The Creamsickle by Rhiannon Argo. A very wild change of pace from Sappho's violet passions, but I loved it and can't wait to hear what you all thought.