The Lyric Poetry of Sappho and Catullus
Sappho is a woman who poetically expresses her love for another woman in an erotically framed poem with disregard of social norms (Greene 69). She disturbed by the fact that the woman she desires is accompanied by a man by her side. She describes the man as “…equal to the gods” and expresses jealousy towards the man (Latin 1 – Spring 2003). She views this man as a competition, and it saddens her.
Sappho expresses her admiration towards the body and its physical form illustrating her awareness of the body as the infinite beauty as described by Aphrodite (Greene 69). Sappho also describes her view of death in a negative perspective as an unwelcome outcome. Also, she confesses how she loves her life. In her poems, Sappho expresses her self-awareness regarding life and the body.
Sappho uses fiction in expressing her feelings that describe love. This can be enlisted as the use of imagery in describing the actions driven by the force that love wields. Lesbia is a persona created by Catullus since the poem is a rewritten form of the same as the one written by Sappho. This, therefore, nullifies it as an autobiography of Catullus. Lesbia’s personality is portrayed as being selfish and cunning through her desires to fulfil herself romantically (Greene 70).
Catullus’ love towards Lesbia result torments him and makes him feel emotionally unsettled and torn. The deep love he has for this woman hurts his emotion. The strength and power of desire make him confused. (Latin 1 – Spring 2003). He expresses his passion by stating that there is “nothing left” when he sees her.
Greene, Ellen. Re-Reading Sappho: Reception and Transmission. University of California Press, 1996.
Latin 1 – Spring 2003. http://plaza.ufl.edu/ranchild/latin1/catullus.html. Accessed 25 Oct. 2017.