Erinna (fl. 7th c. BCE)

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Erinna (fl. 7th c. bce)

Ancient Greek composer and poet. Name variations: Lesbia; Erina. Born at Rhodes or Telos around 600 bce; died at age 19, by which time her poems and compositions were widely admired.

Sometimes known as Lesbia because she came from the island of Lesbos, Erinna was said to love singing so much that her mother, determined that her daughter spin rather than sing, chained her to a spinning wheel. A celebrated Greek poet, Erinna studied at the art school in Mytilene founded by her friend Sappho and was said to have been her most gifted student. Her talent was quickly demonstrated, especially in poetry, and some regarded her gifts to be greater than Sappho's. The only remaining fragment of Erinna's work is a lyric about a female singer named Baucis . Later titled "The Distaff" or "The Spindle," this work was a lament with recurring cries of sorrow.

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