Women Translators of Sappho

Here is a list—by no means complete!—of women-authored translations from the Ancient Greek of Sappho (ca. 630 – ca. 570 B.C.E.).

  • Louise Labé (1524-1566), Sonnet 8 (1555), an adaptation of Sappho 31 into a French sonnet
  • Anne (Le Fèvre) Dacier (1647? – 1720), Les Poésies de Sappho de Lesbos (1681), translations into French prose
  • Renée Vivien (née Pauline Mary Tarn, 1877–1909), Sapho (1903), adaptations into French verse
  • H.D. (Hilda Doolittle, 1886–1961), “Fragment Forty,” an adaptation into English verse
  • Mary Barnard, Sappho: A New Translation (1958), translations into English verse
  • Marguerite Yourcenar, La Couronne et la Lyre (1979), adaptations into French verse
  • Anne Carson, If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho (2003), translations into English verse
  • Aurora Luque, Safo: Poemas y testimonios (2004), Spanish
  • Rosita Copioli, Saffo: Più oro dell’oro (2006), translations into Italian verse
  • Maria Rosa Llabrés Ripoli, Cants de Safo (2006), Catalan

For more information on Sappho’s “afterlives,” you can consult:

  • Joan DeJean, Fictions of Sappho, 1546–1937 (1989)
  • Jane McIntosh Snyder, Lesbian Desire in the Lyrics of Sappho (1997)
  • Margaret Reynolds, The Sappho Companion (2000)


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