Nossis (early 3rd century BCE)
Nossis wrote epigrams (and love poetry now lost) mainly in a female persona, but her subjects were not as widely varied as some of the other authors of inscriptions. These all appear to be made for shrines in which patrons have made offerings to the gods. The poem explains the offering and implores a response, either from the mortal reader or from the god/goddess. This implies that the gods, too, like to read poetry.
1) #1 appears to echo Sappho #4, both in what it says and in how it says it. However, in this instance, the poet's own identity is much more prominent. What does this say about Nossis' sense of the public identities of female poets? Does it appear they're repressed or free in their expression?
2) #2 treats the poem as a messenger, sending it to the reader with instructions which the reader puts into action. What is Nossis' message to the Lesbians, and what does it mean to send such a message?
3) #4-6 are written specifically for occasions when a worshiper dedicated some article of clothing for the statue of the goddess in the temple. What ordinary women's behaviors are thereby made sacred and important, and how does the poem "decorate" the clothing further?
4) #7-11 combine praise of the commemorative stele's subject with praise of the poem, itself, and indirectly the poet, as well. How does this affect your sense of Nossis' awareness of her public identity as a poet?
5) #12 swiftly invokes Artemis (a moon goddess) to aid Alketis in childbirth. How does its structure affect its message?