“Some say that an army of horsemen or infantry, a fleet of ships is the most beautiful thing on black earth, but I say that it is what one loves.” – Safo, around 600 a. C.
Citing the ancient Greek queer poet Safo, Kalki Koechlin introduced his daughter to the universe. Kalki’s daughter is called Safo, in honor of the Greek poet. But who is Sappho and why did he inspire Kalki to name his son for her?
Please welcome Safo. Born on 07/02/20. She just spent 9 months wrapped like a momo in my uterus. Let’s give it some space Thank you for all the good wishes and the positive energy you pour. And I respect all women who go through the intense and frightening birth experience, whether vaginal or oc, many of whom are not given credit or support for the biggest challenges they face, but are expected to do so by some kind of duty The process has an enormous cost both psychological and physical and must have the support of an entire community to truly heal. And a reminder to each and every one of the human beings from where we started, forming from small molecules to conscious and beautiful beings. We are survivors of the greatest battle, that of life and existence, and we must treat ourselves and others with that love and respect. “Some say that an army of horsemen or infantry, a fleet of ships is the most beautiful thing on black earth, but I say that it is what one loves.” ~ Sappho ~ circa 600BC
Hailed by Plato as the Tenth Muse, the lyric genius of the seventh century BC. C. Safo belonged to an aristocratic family that came from the island of Lesbos. While there is less information about his history and his family, it is derived from his texts that Safo had two brothers, was married and had a daughter named Cleis.
Safo was born in the last part of the seventh century BC. C. and is known for the way he expressed affection to women in his poetry. She is the first person, in written history, to achieve the subjectivity of oneself and of life. One of the most famous poets of that time, Safo, talked about things that were rarely talked about and even spheres of life that were never mentioned.
Safo used to write about domestic life, wedding ceremonies, virginity, motherhood and, above all, his love for women, except the male gaze and a first-person narrative. His name and place of birth gave us the words Lesbian and Sapphic. In fact, the four-line stanza style, called sapphic stanza, which became a staple in Western poetry, was invented by the poet herself. It is said that Safo’s poetry was often interpreted by a group of girls, accompanied by the lyre.
After Safo’s death, his poetry consolidated into nine large books, estimated at around 9,000 lines. But in 1204 AD, the Fourth Crusade burned Constantinople and the vast majority of its works were also destroyed. Today, only about 650 survive. Only one poem remains in its entirety: Ode to Aphrodite.
Safo was not an ordinary poet and was criticized for almost three millennia for his sexuality and also for his work. Safo’s contemporary women did not produce surviving works of literature, but she struggled through society’s barriers to exhibit her poetry. And what survived of Safo was always under the microscope of scrutiny.
So, for Kalki, who is known for her feminist views and shameless ideologies, choosing her daughter’s name after a famous poet who is not only a feminist hero but also a homosexual role model, was appropriate.
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