Editor In Butch

Edu-gaytion Lessons #1: Sappho

In Edugaytion on January 29, 2009 at 4:23 am

Those who are unaware of history are destined to repeat it.

–George Santayana

In other words: You can’t know where you’re going ’till you know where you’ve been.  In this spirit, we’re giving you a little-mini-history lesson.  Don’t worry, nerd-chic is totally “in” this year; so grab your adorkable frames, pull on your cardigan, and buckle up.  Every good NB should have a firm grasp on the lesbian past. After all, we are the future.  



Sappho , (Le coucher de Sappho), Charles Gleyre, 1867

Sappho , (Le coucher de Sappho), Charles Gleyre, 1867

“There rushes at once through my flesh tingling fire, 
My eyes are deprived of all power of vision, 
My ears hear nothing by sounds of winds roaring, 
And all is blackness.

Down courses in streams the sweat of emotion, 
A dread trembling o’erwhelms me, paler than I 
Than dried grass in autumn, and in my madness 
Dead I seem almost.”


Facts: In its original language (some form of ancient Greek), it’s apparent that these phrases are written about a woman. Sappho was from the isle of Lesbos.  The word “Lesbian” literally meant someone from the island of Lesbos (and still does, albeit awkwardly) and became the term to meaning homosexual woman in the mid 1920’s.  Sappho  lived sometime between the years 630 and 570BCE and apparently had a hot, tortured emotional life that she expressed in the form of her poetry… So, rest easy fellow butches, your feelings are normal and completely unoriginal!

And may we just say: Fat bottom girls, you make the rockin world go round!

 B. Cassidy



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