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Sappho's Isle of Dreams

They sailed the misty, moonlit streams
where you breathed lines of honeydew,
to steal you from your isle of dreams
where Aphrodite cared for you.

(Your beauty-breathing ways so wild
wove words of wonder from your youth,
which softly spoke and sweetly smiled
to those who sought for sacred truth.)

Toward the coast they hurried you
to exile, ‘cross the sea beyond.
A kiss for friends, love’s brief adieu;
with tender tears they did respond.

Hard hearts of hate that wished you harm
did not upset you, not at all!
Your face so fair, completely calm,
serenely shone in Sapphic shawl!

Your baby boy, they let you bring,
along with books and poet’s quill.
(These feathers on a poet’s wing
their hatred dared not curse or kill.)

They stole you from your isle of dreams
where Aphrodite smiled on you:
The goddess girl who glowed and gleamed
while breathing lines of honeydew.

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Apparently, Sappho was exiled to Sicily around 600 BC, and may have continued to work until around 570 BC. According to legend, she killed herself by leaping from the Leucadian cliffs due to her love for the ferryman Phaon. Sappho was a prolific poet, probably composing around 10,000 lines.
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the history of Sappho in wonderful rhyme! This is one of your best! I love the subject; the rhyme is spot-on, and the reader is lulled by the perfect meter. An awesome effort! Nothing but praise for this one. ~ Geez.

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Many thanks, Geezer. I had just been reading through the fragments of her verse that has been preserved for us. "On your dappled throne eternal Aphrodite, cunning daughter of Zeus, I beg you, do not crush my heart with pain, O lady..."


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