Shall I Compare Thee?

This Newly Discovered Sappho Poem Can Help You Get A Date

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pompei sappho

The ancient Greek poet Sappho — master of the lyric, lesbian icon — may be one of the most famous poets of all time, but since the Middle Ages, we’ve only had access to a tiny fraction of her work. One complete poem and a handful of fragments survived antiquity. The rest was lost to the ages — or so we thought. But an unidentified collector has just come forward with a major new discovery: two new poems, one of which is “remarkably well preserved.” And, according to the Daily Beast, the works have the potential to be game-changing, adding hugely to what we know about the poetess, both personally and poetically.

Scholars are particularly excited about what they’re calling “The Brothers poem,” which isn’t particularly sexy — it’s two people discussing a sea voyage — but seems to offer autobiographical details of Sappho’s family life. The second poem, though, appears to be a plea for Aphrodite’s help pursuing a beloved. In other words, that one’s got romantic potential. Not that you can put that potential to use in your own life yet. Unfortunately for 21st century lovers, the work has yet to be translated into English. Or any other contemporary language. If you read Aeolic Greek, though, this Valentine’s Day is going to be great.