Lesbos- Poetry and Lesbian History

By September 6, 2013Uncategorized

This is a statue of Sappho- A poet from Lesbos.  She is honored in the hilltown of Ayiassos which we visited today.  It seems especially appropriate to speak of poetry here in Greece.  Poetry is like a national pastime here.  The famous poet Homer is from this country. 1963 nobel laureate poet, Giorgios Seferis was also Greek. 
It seems especially appropriate here.  The island we are on is Lesbos.  It is known for it’s poetry.  Sappho lived in the hilltown of Ayiassos which we visited for a day.  Sappho is an ancient poet who wrote about love between women long ago. These writings have given Lesbos it’s association with female homosexuality.   During her era, women were being educated for the first time under a tolerant leader.  Girls would leave home to study together and it was during this time that she wrote her poetry.   However, love between same-sex companions was not necessarily as we tend to think of it in modern times. Everything seems hyper-sexualized these days, but it wasn’t necessarily the case back then. Many have pointed to her as evidence of female homosexual love…or Lesbianism. Sappho was not necessarily a lesbian, but she is forever associated with the topic due to her poems. 

I’ve found that artists are often poets. Whether their poetry is visual or verbal, the heart of a poet can often be found in the soul of an artist.  

Poetry can be a sign of inspired thinking.  Many artists couple their artwork with writing.  I have sometimes worked this way…letting a journal entry or words inspire a piece of artwork. If you’ve never tried writing as a tool for inspiring your artwork, I encourage you to try journaling or waxing poetic and using it as inspiration for your art!
On this trip, a couple of special poets have found their way into my heart.  Connie Cuthbertson is one fantastic artist and poet who is a new friend.  She has been on a journey fighting cancer over the last few years, and the good news is that she is healthy!  She is fantastic and is currently on an extended solo trip around Greece. She inspires me, and I thought you might enjoy her lovely poem.  I love it and hope you do too!

To Dream ~ Poem

I go searching for peace 

at waters edge
like a moth to a flame
she draws me in

and I listen here

the ocean breeze moves through me

the waves pool around me as
I enter this rhythmic dance
here I am caught, mesmerized

and I wonder here

Within the waves my mind is freed
Sunlight shimmers its dazzling light
Receding tide carries me with her
to far off places of the mind

and I enter here

I raise a handful of this liquid light
it glistens now
through my fingers 
memories trickle down

and I imagine here

I wonder, will this water 
that now falls from my fingertips
make its way to far off shores
where only my mind can travel

My eyes lifted now
to the horizon of thought
this endless ever changing place

Where fantasies and memories flow
where times of past and days to come
keep tempo with the day at hand

and I explore me here

I visit often 
in this quiet place of mind
to contemplate, to meditate
breathe deeply, and to dream

 and I understand me here

When I look deep into the ocean
as I go searching 
for peace
at waters edge

I discover me here

Rebecca Zdybel
Artist/ Art Instructor
Myrtle Beach, SC

Author Rebecca Zdybel

Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor - Spread Light, Share Love, DO Art! Rebecca Z Artist (Rebecca Zdybel) is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC. She blogs and teaches locally and internationally. Sign up for her blog, classes, workshops, art travel tours, or see her work at RebeccaZArtist.com.

More posts by Rebecca Zdybel

Leave a Reply