Compton, Todd M. 2006. Victim of the Muses: Poet as Scapegoat, Warrior and Hero in Greco-Roman and Indo-European Myth and History. Hellenic Studies Series 11. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_Compton.Victim_of_the_Muses.2006.
Chapter 8. Sappho: The Barbed Rose
Sappho and blame
ἀγροΐωτιν ἐπεμμένα στόλαν …
οὐκ ἐπισταμένα τὰ βράκε’ ἔλκην ἐπὶ τὼν σψύρων;
And what farm-girl bewitches your heart …
Clothed in rustic garb …
Not knowing how to draw her robe over her ankles? 
Here, Sappho derides a farm-girl directly; she attacks Andromeda indirectly by satirizing her lover, a technique used in later satire, as by Catullus (Odes 6), who mocks Flavius by imagining what diseased prostitute (quid febriculosi scorti) he must be sleeping with secretly. Sappho is much more restrained and delicate, but the same theme is here.
ἔσσετ’ οὐδὲ †ποκ’† ὔστερον· οὐ γὰρ πεδέχηις βρόδων
τὼν ἐκ Πιερίας, ἀλλ’ ἀφάνης κἀν Ἀίδα δόμωι
φοιτάσηις πεδ’ ἀμαύρων νεκύων ἐκπεποταμένα.
But after you have died, you will lie there, neither will there be any remembrance of you,
neither desire for you afterwards. For you have no part in the roses
of Pieria, but unseen, in the house of Hades,
you will wander among the dim dead, having flown away from us.
This is almost equivalent to a curse, though expressed in Sappho’s exquisite language; it predicts the worst possible fate for a poet, oblivion; Hipponax 115W similarly wishes the worst fate possible for Hipponax’s enemy, though here the fate precedes death.  The emphasis on the memory of the rival totally disappearing is notable; she will also be invisible, aphanēs. Marcel Detienne has shown how blame is connected with forgetfulness in the structure of Greek thought; this poem is a clear example of that thesis, with obscurity (parallel to forgetfulness in Detienne’s list of linked opposites) thrown in for good measure. 
So Sappho killed herself in a fashion characteristic of the pharmakos,  and in a cult site in which criminal pharmakoi were expelled from land to sea. She dies calling upon Apollo (apparently), as did Aesop. As in the case of the death legends of Aesop and Hesiod, this death legend could be an aition for ritual practice.