Erica Jong's Bookshelf
These lyrics about love by one of the only female voices to come down to us from antiquity have been adored, translated, and imitated for 2,600 years. What has given them their enduring power? I think it is their directness and honesty as well as their vivid evocation of physical sensations. It was Sappho who first described passion as a subtle fire running under the skin. It was Sappho who said that the sight of one's beloved was worth more than victorious armies mustering. Sappho's work exists in fragments, the music to which she sang has been lost, but her insights into the female mind remain stunningly timeless.