Sappho was born sometime between 630 and 617 BCE and died around 570. Little of certainty is known about her life. A native of the island of Lesbos, she resided in its largest city, Mytilene. She composed songs for choral and solo performance on a wide range of themes but is best known for amatory songs focusing on adolescent females. She is renowned as the first woman poet in literary history, and her songs have been universally admired throughout antiquity and modernity.
Aaron Poochigian's lyrical translations preserve the musical style of Sappho's songs. In his introduction he discusses the theories surrounding Sappho's life and love affairs, and the enduring influence of her works.