Twinkling in the sky

Of Sappho much has been said and many there are who would have given anything to be able to know a little more about this Greek Muse – the tenth Muse. Still, although we have rather meagre corpus of her poetry at hand the following lines from her stylus is enough to convince me of her divine status:


The Moon has left the sky,
Lost is the Pleiads’ light;
It is midnight,
And time slips by,
But on my couch alone I lie. 1

                    J. A. Symonds, 1883


Is there really anything more to add?

Still, for those who not have been so fortunate to reside on a veranda a warm summer’s night somewhere in the Aegean or just anywhere in the Mediterranean world the scene may have to be painted – there must be some words said.

So, please place you on Sappho’s couch with a glass of wine next to you and midnight soon to be. Feel the breeze – warm but not as during the light hours. Listen to what the cicadas have to say accompanied by the sound of the waves caressing the sandy beach just below your house. Smell the sweet fragrance of oleander, magnolia and taste the wonderful juice of the grapes in that glass beside you.

Now open your eyes and, I promise you, you’ll be absolutely, yes absolutely, totally mesmerized by the sky, the sky where the ancient Greeks saw both Aphrodite and the lyre that Apollo played to open lovers hearts.

Yes, even if you’re not actually waiting for the love of your life at this hour (maybe he or she is there right beside you already) I still dare to state that you’ll be absolutely embodied by a feeling of happiness, gratefulness and the greatest love while looking at the world we have above us.

So, dearest Sappho, whenever I gaze at the sky – not always trying to navigate to Orion, Pegasus nor the Pleiades – I sense a bond to you and all ancestors but also my living brothers and sisters who is looking at the same stars at the very same moment as I search for your reflections there.

Reflections of your eyes and thoughts and thus sense a warm wonderful feeling of love to mankind. Being a part of a never-ending chain of people, bond through thoughts, feelings – sometimes so wonderfully expressed by a Muse that her words still echoes in our minds as we look at the very same twinkling stars as our ancestors did and our children will do …

1 Based on today’s knowledge most researchers no longer believe that these lines are composed by Sappho. Enjoying the fragments, lines which today are attributed to her creation makes her position as the “tenth Muse” obvious anyway.

Editor / Publisher
© Anders Dahlgren 2012/04/13