Stanza Shaping in Horace

Posted by on 10 12 14 in Translation | 0 comments

Contemporary styles notwithstanding, translators have generally grouped Horace’s Odes in four-line stanzas to reflect the continuity of content and the Latin measures, a practice often called Meineke’s Law after their originator. A few translators have gone further and devised individual stanza shapes to represent the Latin measures, the best known of whom may be John Conington. {1} It’s an approach that works happily enough in the lighter pieces, as in I 26: The Muses love me: fear and grief, The winds may blow them to the sea; Who quail before the wintry chief Of Scythian real, is nought to me. But comes to grief in the more demanding odes packed with detail, as here in IV 14 (16-20), using a 4 4 4 4 stanza shape spectandus in certamine Martio, deuota morti pectora liberae quanti fatigaret ruinis, indomitas prope...

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Versions of Horace 3

Posted by on 21 11 14 in Translation | 0 comments

This is the third and concluding post comparing translations of Horace Odes. Carmen One 28 Measure: First Archilochean: – u u –  u u – / u u – u u  – u u  – x – u u  – u u  – u u  – x Theme: Death comes to all. Latin and word-for-word translation: Te maris et terrae numeroque carentis harenae mensorem cohibent, Archyta, pulueris exigui prope latum parua Matinum munera nec quicquam tibi prodest aerias temptasse domos animoque rotundum percurrisse polum morituro. Occidit et Pelopis genitor, conuiua deorum, Tithonusque remotus in auras You, sea and earth and numberless sand surveyor confines you, Archytas, small dust near unimportant shore of Matinium offer nor are you worth round sky home and spirit scan sky you will die. Died and Pelop’s father, guest of gods Tithonus drawn into air...

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Versions of Horace 2

Posted by on 18 11 14 in Translation | 1 comment

This is the second post comparing translations of Horace odes, and here we look at Book One Carmen 5. It’s in the Fourth Asclepiadean, which runs: –  –  –  u u – / – u u – u  x –  –  –  u u – / – u u – u  x – –  –  u  u  –  x –  –  –  u  u –  u – The third line pulls the movement up short, often giving it emphasis or special focus. The Latin and word-for-word translation are: Quis multa gracilis te puer in rosa perfusus liquidis urget odoribus grato, Pyrrha, sub antro? cui flauam religas comam, simplex munditiis? Heu quotiens fidem               5 mutatosque deos flebit et aspera nigris aequora uentis emirabitur insolens, Who much slender you boy on rose bathing liquid squeezing with scent pleasing, Pyrrha, under cave...

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Versions of Horace 1

Posted by on 15 11 14 in Translation | 0 comments

I was once asked if it could be ‘fair’ to look at other translations before beginning one’s own work. Not only fair, was my reply, but essential, and not simply to glance at previous versions but study them carefully. Translation is not a competition, but a fraternity of interests where each practitioner learns from others, as happens in all the sensible professions. Originality can be overdone, and in a world awash with translations what is often needed is a wise eclecticism that recasts previous attempts in the crucible of imagination and proper understanding of poet and period. Many authors are now adequately translated, and further efforts, unless they most significantly improve on their forebears, are a waste of everyone’s time. 1. OVERVIEW The qualities that make the Odes of Horace worth attention are by their nature difficult to translate...

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Translating Dante’s Terza Rima: Second Post

Posted by on 16 03 14 in Translation | 0 comments

We can use unrhymed tetrameters in place of Dante’s terza rima to capture the sinewy strength of narrative in the Divine Comedy.

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Translating Dante’s Terza Rima

Posted by on 1 03 14 in Translation | 0 comments

Approaches to translating the difficult terza rima stanza of Dante’s Divine Comedy: three attempts.

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Fromentin’s Dominique

Posted by on 4 11 13 in Translation | 2 comments

Fromentin’s Dominique: translating stylistic French excellence into English.

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Quantitative and Syllabic Verse

Posted by on 24 10 13 in Translation | 1 comment

Quantitative and syllabic verse in English: translating Horace.

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Translating Horace Ode 4.7

Posted by on 24 09 13 in Translation | 5 comments

Horace Ode 4.7: comparison of translations.

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Bunin’s Sunstroke

Posted by on 8 09 13 in Translation | 0 comments

Sunstroke, one the best known of Ivan Bunin’s (1870-1953) short stories, ends with the officer returning to the Volga steamer after a brief affair that has profoundly affected him.

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Ovid in English: Christopher Marlowe

Posted by on 22 08 13 in Translation | 2 comments

Ovid in English: Translations of Ovid’s Amores 1.5. A comparison of Christopher Marlowe’s translations with those by Anne Mahoney and John Porter.

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Ovid In English

Posted by on 22 08 13 in Translation | 0 comments

Ovid in English: a comparison of Metamorphoses 7 translations by Rolfe Humphreys, Sandys and John Dryden.

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