Life

(Literature and the Ancient World, Critical Edition)

Though Erinna (ih-RIHN-uh) wrote for only a short period of time, she and her work were praised by the ancients; Antipater lists her as one of the “nine earthly Muses.” Of her works, only six fragments survive, the best of which is fifty-four lines of Elakate, or The Distaff, a lament for her childhood friend Baucis. Erinna’s poetry celebrated the domestic life using “heroic language,” and she even moved beyond her native Doric dialect perhaps to mimic the works of Sappho. Her style ranged from puns to laments to metaphors, covering both lyric and epigrammatic forms.