today sapphic verse – which was written by sappho in her time, in the 7th century b.c. she was a great poet and lyrist in her time, much of her work expressed love for women, and she remains a source of inspiration for lesbians, poets and others since… even though much of here work only remains in fragments. recently, new poems were found by her – see http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article1371516.ece
the latest “in our time” on radio 4 also featured her – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05pqsk4
she used a metre now called sapphic metre, which consists of quatrains (4 lines for us numpties!). the first 3 lines have 11 syllables with 2 trochees (1 stressed then one unstressed syllable), a dactyl (1 stressed then 2 unstressed syllables) and another trochee. the last line has a dactyl then a trochee.
this was bloody difficult, so i only managed one verse, and the last stresses are wrong as i collapsed into the final trochee. however, it is about my love (who is a woman), and longing and sensual, so that’ll have to do! it has no title as yet…
sitting, waiting, ships sail by, time slips, uptrips,
she, a note sung high from my tongue, and in it
fall i, lost and floundering, outstrung, outsung,
hanging on, my love