[–] mauvaisefoi 0 points (+0|-0) Edited

This makes me kind of nostalgic for a time when lesbian plays would be put on and be well-known, and when we'd show up to events with violets pinned to our lapels. These days it seems so hard to recognise each other, and there just doesn't seem to be an image or symbol that similarly evokes solidarity (and homophobia). The violet farmers are probably very happy with that.

My 'coming out', or rather a cowardly nudge at the closet door, was at a 1920s-themed party at my sports club (my main social circle). I'd pinned fresh hardware-store violets to my shirt. Not even the lesbian players got the reference. I went back to acting hetero the next day, and my teammates still ask at parties who on the men's team I'd like to bang.

A little beside the point, but the author's reading of Two Loves seems a bit off to me.

"And as I stood and marvelled, lo! across / The garden came a youth; one hand he raised / To shield him from the sun, his wind-tossed hair / Was twined with flowers..."

This first youth does indeed kiss him on the lips, but he then says: "...Sweet friend / Come I will show thee shadows of the world... / And lo! within the garden of my dream / I saw two walking on a shining plain / Of golden light. The one did joyous seem / And fair and blooming /...And round his neck three chains of roses were."

This youth was, probably, the same as the first one, and he was the one with the roses. It's the second youth, whose "head was wreathed with moon-flowers pale as lips of death," who said that he was the love that dare not speak its name.

The first one - he who represents heterosexuality - also says, "I was wont to be / Alone in this fair garden." Contrary to what the author of this article implies, the boy who represents homosexuality not only did not have the flower-twined hair or roses (only a wreath of white flowers, maybe representative of purity as a sort of refutation of the societal view of homosexuality at the time), but was also an intruder in this lush, flowerful garden. That's a world of difference to Sappho's, where she belonged in the gardens of which she wrote.

I'm probably nit-picking here but the article's treatment of the poem as a poorly analysed, random diversion does annoy me. Two Loves is one of my favourite poems, for its imagery and rhyme as much as its personal significance. Wilde in his trial adduces the Ancient Greek concept of mentorship in his interpretation of the last line and does so from a homosexual male point of view, but nevertheless it is, in many ways, just as applicable to female homosexuality.