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 7 (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
  • Anonymous (“Fille d qualité de Guyenne, âgée seulement de dix-huit ans”), “Ode de Sapho à son amie” (1684), an adaptation into French verse after Anne Dacier’s prose translation of Sappho 31
  • Clotilde de Surville (ca. 1405–ca. 1498), “Qu’à mon gré ceste-là va primant sur les Dieux” (published in 1803 & 1826), two adaptations of Sappho 31 into French verse
  • Renée Vivien (née Pauline Mary Tarn, 1877–1909), Sapho (1903), adaptations into French verse
  • Édith de Beaumont (1877–1952), Poèmes de Sapho (1950), translation into French free 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
  • Susan Hawthorne, “Fragment 16,” in Sinister Wisdom 81 (2010), English
  • Mary Meriam, “who leaves me rootless,” in Girlie Calendar (2014), imitation into English verse
  • Josephine Balmer, Sappho: Poems and Fragments (2nd edition, 2018)

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

  • Jane McIntosh Snyder, Lesbian Desire in the Lyrics of Sappho (1997)
  • Margaret Reynolds, The Sappho Companion (2000)
  • Philippe Brunet, L’Égal des dieux: Cent et une versions d’un poème de Sappho (2018)


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