#100poems 60: Is It True That Lesbians All Come From A Greek Island Called Lesbos

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May 13, 2017 by Sez

Got asked this in a school assembly to Year 8 about homophobia. I may possibly have laughed.
(I did write this yesterday but had no net access. )

Yes, lesbians do come from Lesbos

For that is what “lesbian” means.

A “lesbian”‘s “someone from Lesbos”

No matter which way someone leans.

But not all of the people from Lesbos

Are lesbians. Differently stated:

Some lesbians don’t come from Lesbos.

(I can see why you might get frustrated.)

But there once was a woman from Lesbos

Known as Sappho. She liked to write verse

About women she loved, out on Lesbos

And some people think there’s nothing worse.

Than a woman who brought fame to Lesbos: 

With her plaudits, so rightfully earned,

Having sex with the women of Lesbos

And a lot of her poems were burned.

And when women, like Sappho of Lesbos,

Who love women as others love men

Are called “lesbians” “sapphic” or “lesbos”

We remember the poet again.

And though some of the people of Lesbos

Don’t approve of this use of their name,

To be lesbian (“gay” or “from Lesbos”)

Is a reason for pride, not for shame.


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