Female Voices in Poetry by Sappho and Erinna

Pages: 1
Words: 297

Female voices in poetry are significant for interpreting women’s experience in different cultures, and poets from Ancient Greece are no exception to the rule. Their works shed the light on the emotional aspects of their lives in the first place as well as their place in the world of men. From this perspective, the pieces, created by Sappho and Erinna, are informative for the purpose of such analysis.

The first poetess, Sappho, mainly wrote about gods and goddesses, and the latter’s existence was similar to that of women. They are viewed as self-sacrificing people, who “love even against her will” and give more than they take (line 1-24). In the poems of this person, they are also referred to as beautiful and with “lovely walk and the bright shine” (line 5-17). These descriptions are made to compare the females and their divine counterparts while emphasizing the similarity.

The second poetess, Erinna, contributes to this impression while writing about the shame as a part of women’s lives. They are described as being blessed with beauty and charms while also in need for morality in order to protect them. By referring to virtue, Erinna states that “hearts unbroken” could be saved if girls remembered “all you heard from your mother while still a child” (lines 1-13; 1-20). In this way, this aspect is clearly highlighted by the poet, underpinning Sappho’s thoughts.

In conclusion, the readers learn about women’s lives from the poetry of Sappho and Erinna that they are both powerful and vulnerable humans. The former quality is explained by the beauty and overall attractiveness of females, determining the attention towards them. In turn, the latter is in the fact that the morality, which is typically taught by their mothers, is key to their wellbeing and happiness in general.