Home > 1. Famous Poems, FF. The Re-emergence of the Goddess > Sappho, honest and intense

Sappho, honest and intense

File:Catfighting women..jpg


There’s a tendency with Sappho, RT thinks, to see her either as a mistress of the erotic or a wise and perceptive philosopher. But at bottom, she was simply a great poet, loyal to her experiences, passionate in her dealings with others, committed to telling the truth. She was a living woman and her voice echoes down the years. Here is RT’s version of one of her fragments, which reminds us of the towering anger that great people sometimes feel:





And now: you’ve been seen

with the beautiful people—not one

of them decent or generous—

and told your friends

to clear out.


Worse: you’ve attacked me,

told me to my face that I’m

an embarrassment. Well, then:


be a smug little bitch!

Just remember, I’m not likely

to tolerate a child’s anger.

Get out! No . . .



Drawing: Catfighting Women. Author: Peter van der Sluijs. WikiCmns; CC 1.0 Generic.

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