Synopses & Reviews
Classics professor and novelist Freeman (Sacrifice: A Celtic Adventure) expertly reconstructs the remarkable background of Sappho the “first and greatest of the women poets in the ancient world” from slender and fragmentary evidence. With deep and careful consideration Freeman pieces together the surviving information about Sappho’s life using classical literature myth and visual art to chisel a peephole into the lives of ancient Greek women. Freeman ably maps the political spiritual and cultural territory of ancient Greece while deftly mining Sappho’s poetry for insights into the passages of childhood and aging marriage and motherhood and desire and exile as they might have been experienced by “this woman who stands at the beginning of history.” Freeman’s portrait of this legendary woman responsible for “some of the greatest poetry the human heart has ever composed” is vivid and immediate though necessarily incomplete. His translations of the nearly 200 existing Sapphic poems and fragments reveal a haunting music that’s bound to enchant lovers of poetry history and the classical world. Agent: Joelle Delbourgo Joelle Delbourgo Associates. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
Written for general readers and students, this accessible work onSappho, the female poet of ancient Greece, reflects the latest discoveries of Sappho’s poetry on papyrus and pottery carvings and inquotations of her work in other ancient writings. It also includes new translations of all of Sappho’s poetry by author Philip Freeman(classics, Luther College), who has written ten previous books on ancient history. The book contains b&w photos, historical illustrations, and a timeline.Annotation ©2016 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
For more than twenty-five centuries, all that the world knew of the poems of Sappho the first woman writer in literary history were a few brief quotations preserved by ancient male authors. Yet those meager remains showed such power and genius that they captured the imagination of readers through the ages. But within the last century, dozens of new pieces of her poetry have been found written on crumbling papyrus or carved on broken pottery buried in the sands of Egypt. As recently as 2014, yet another discovery of a missing poem created a media stir around the world.
The poems of Sappho reveal a remarkable woman who lived on the Greek island of Lesbos during the vibrant age of the birth of western science, art, and philosophy. Sappho was the daughter of an aristocratic family, a wife, a devoted mother, a lover of women, and one of the greatest writers of her own or any age. Nonetheless, although most people have heard of Sappho, the story of her lost poems and the lives of the ancient women they celebrate has never been told for a general audience.
Searching for Sappho is the exciting tale of the rediscovery of Sappho s poetry and of the woman and world they reveal.