Sappho (c.630–c.570 BCE) was a Greek lyric poet who lived on the island of Lesbos. She was one of the most important lyric poets of the Archaic Period (sixth century BCE.) Many critics consider her the greatest female poet of the classical world and the founder of women’s literature.
Sappho is renowned for her creative brilliance and the unmitigated, passionate emotional intensity of her homoerotic lyrical poetry. Little is known about her life, and barely a small portion of her large output of work survives only in fragments, except for one complete poem—the “Ode to Aphrodite.”
Although Sappho was satirized in ancient Greek comedies as having an insatiable appetite for men, the long-established view is that her sexual preference was for women. She has therefore achieved immortal status as the patron and muse of lesbian lovers.
Beyond her poetry, she is renowned as a symbol of love and desire between women.