Competition, Mutuality, and Ambiguity: Women’s Erotics in Sappho Song 1 and 94
αἰ δὲ δῶρα μὴ δέκετ᾽, ἀλλὰ δώσει,
αἰ δὲ μὴ φίλει, ταχέως φιλήσει,
For if she flees, shortly she will pursue
If she does not accept gifts, rather she will give
If she does not love, shortly she will love,
even being unwilling.
This stanza is Aphrodite’s judgment after Sappho’s pleas in the earlier parts of the song. Sappho invites Aphrodite to come to her aid in matters of unrequited love. Aphrodite appears in a moment of epiphany both to the character Sappho within the poem itself and to the audience by speaking through the performer(s).