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Sappho and Song of Solomon

November 9, 2013

Now that linguistic data has suggested that the Song of Solomon was written in the 3rd century BC, some are looking closer at its structure as a wedding song, in the same genre as Sappho’s songs, and wondering if there was an influence. Here is a thought provoking post, and I suggest a look at this book which is online also. On page 26, there is this speculation,

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Does Song of Solomon follow the classical period when only a male nude was an object of beauty? Was Song of Solomon perhaps written by a woman? Certainly, the main voice is that of a woman, and women were responsible for so much of song, celebration and lament, in Hebrew culture.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2013 9:14 am

    Great post, Suzanne. I see that Ariel Block and Chauna Block refer to one of Willis Barnstone’s works. I’d refer readers interested in your post (and the Blocks’ translation) also to his books To Touch the Sky: Poems of Mystical, Spiritual & Metaphysical Light (which begins with his translation of Song of Songs and his speculation about the dates of its creation, and his book’s title of course is from Sappho, some of whose poetry he also translates and includes right after the Song of Songs) and his The Poetics of Ecstasy: Varieties of Ekstasis from Sappho to Borges. Also, Anne Carson’s Decreation (both her essay by this title and her subsequent book) explicates the spirituality of Sappho as shown in that of two later women.


  1. Reading Womanly Sex in Shakespeare, Donne, and the Greek translator(s) of the Song of Solomon? | BLT

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