Renée Vivien's Sapphic Legacy: Remembering the "House of Muses"

  • Tama Engelking Cleveland State University


Sappho represents both a powerful female precursor and an example of how women's writing has been censored. She nevertheless felt certain that "Someone in the future will remember us." Renee Vivien (1877-1909), lesbian poet and translator of Sappho, felt the full impact of this mixed sapphic legacy and, like her principal muse, she became more and more concerned about her future readers to whom she left her own mixed legacy. Despite the tragic aspects of her life, Vivien's sapphic legacy to modem-day readers is positive since it emphasizes a woman-centred lyric tradition that constitutes the "House of Muses."
Original Research