Sappho-metaphor and image in her lyric poems

Q: Analyze a literary device–most likely an image or metaphor–or series of devices you find in Plato, Sappho, or Catullus. 

   Sappho uses many metaphor and image in her poem,which helps her convey her emotions and feelings in more imaginary way. For example, "...And fine birds brought you, quick sparrows over the black earth whipping their wings down the sky through midair-they arrived. But you, O blessed one, smiled in your deathless face."(Poem 1 P637) In this sentence, she gives readers the scenes by using birds which whipping its wing down the sky to express her lonely feelings with sad moods. Another example, "Some men say an army of horse and some men say an army on foot and some men say an army of ships is the most beautiful thing on the black earth. but I say it is what you love." (Poem 16 P638) In this sentence, she uses army of horse, army on foot, and army of ships to describe and emphasize the characteristics of the men. In addition, in most of her poems, she uses many natural scenery to describe her feelings and her thoughts. Sometimes it contains painful and sorrow feelings like the moon which is setting down. Sometimes it contains the happy and sweet feelings like green grass. She naturally describes natural subjects to express her mix of the feelings in her lyric poem.

1 thought on “Sappho-metaphor and image in her lyric poems

  1. I think the comparison that Sappho draws to a multitude of different “armies” is incredibly powerful when discussing matters of love. For a lot of poets and writers, particularly of this era, softness and love were linked directly to femininity while men were the war-bringers, the aggressors, the powerful. It actually rang slightly of the Lysistrata to me, as there was a consistent theme throughout the play linking men with war and violence and women with a more tender side of existence. As a female poet, Sappho offers a tremendous amount of insight into this gendered dichotomy. She finds beauty in love, rejecting the structured “beauty” (as perceived by men) of strategy and wartime.

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