Poets And Poetry

Poetry Analysis he is more than a Hero by Sappho



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He is more than a hero
he is a god in my eyes-
the man who is allowed
to sit beside you - he
who listens intimately
to the sweet murmur of
your voice, the enticing
laughter that makes my own
heart beat fast. If I meet
you suddenly, I can'
speak - my tongue is broken;
a thin flame runs under
my skin; seeing nothing,
hearing only my own ears
drumming, I drip with sweat;
trembling shakes my body
and I turn paler than
dry grass. At such times
death isn't far from me Sappho

Without diving into the origins of the author, or the legacy this great mistress of prose left for us, it goes without saying that this is a truly beautiful love poem. It speaks of the mindset of a woman who cannot speak to the woman she finds so attractive. Understanding that the love must be kept secret for whatever reason leads us to the knowledge of why the author of the poem is in such agony over their inability to let the person know openly how she truly feels.

While Lesbianism was very accepted in her time, Sappho often wrote concerning the often-private feelings and the enslavement of those very feelings that she and her lovers would have. This poem speaks not so much of the loved one but rather of the feelings of anguish and torment the author has. It also speaks of the inevitable meeting of the two and how the author might feel if that meeting required an actual exchange of ideas or words. The simplest of fears that a young man or woman might have over meeting the object of their desire is magnified in this poem so that we might see inside the writers world for a brief glimpse. We see the real fear of rejection that accompanies the feelings of love that cannot be acted on. In the case of this poem a "He" leading one to believe that there is a male involved symbolizes the antagonist. If we dive deeper, However, we may actually surmise that the object of the author's desire is not in fact a lesbian herself or She may not have allowed herself to be seen as a lesbian publicly. If we take into account the fear of rejection, the fear of being unearthed as an admirer, and the fact that even in Sappho's time homosexuality was still an undesired social attitude, we can feel the author's lament as she pours her heart out alone and unknown to the object of her adoration.

 

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