The Odes of Horace

The Odes of Horace

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by Horace
     
 

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The Latin poet Horace is, along with his friend Virgil, the most celebrated and influential of the poets of Emperor Augustus's reign. These marvelously constructed poems, with their unswerving clarity of vision and extraordinary range of tone and emotion, have deeply affected the poetry of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Herbert, Marvell, Dryden, Pope, Samuel Johnson,

Overview

The Latin poet Horace is, along with his friend Virgil, the most celebrated and influential of the poets of Emperor Augustus's reign. These marvelously constructed poems, with their unswerving clarity of vision and extraordinary range of tone and emotion, have deeply affected the poetry of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Herbert, Marvell, Dryden, Pope, Samuel Johnson, Wordsworth, Frost, Auden, Larkin, and many others, in English and in other languages. David Carne-Ross has said of this translation that "Ferry has found an English into which Horace's lyrics will pass with no apparent strain". Grateful readers will appreciate the lucidity and inventiveness of these elegant and judicious versions.

Editorial Reviews

...Ferry reveals the dead language and lame imagery of much contemporary lyric poetry with this new look at Horace's odes.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The foremost technician of Rome's Golden Age, Horace (65-8 B.C.) revolutionized Latin verse. He imported intricate Greek meters, invented the poet as a jeweller of words and left behind some of the most enduring models of what a short poem should address. A handful of his lyricsmost on love, country living or the shortness of lifehave been imitated by our greatest English-language poets, from Shakespeare and Johnson to Auden and Frost. It thus takes guts to translate Horace's complete odes, especially since many of them are on less timeless themes. Acclaimed poet and translator Ferry (Gilgamesh) has bravely given us all 103 (plus the "Carmen Saeculare," a choral anthem commissioned by the Emperor Augustus) in graceful, relaxed, formally structured versions, and has achieved throughout the chief goal of most translators: to make his subject sound like one of us. To do so, Ferry is expansive where Horace is notoriously tight (as shown in the originals, provided en face). Too often, though, what a reader may like here will have little to do with what Horace wrote: Ferry repeatedly interprets him elegantly but slightly out of context, changing emphases and endings to suit a modern ear. Even at its most sly, however, the book sets a new standard for contemporary poets and readers who want to confront one of their thorniest, most formidable ancestors. (Oct.)
Library Journal
This is a delightful translation of the Odes by poet, scholar, and translator Ferry, who with apparent effortlessness manages to render Horace's Latin poems into fine, unsmeared American idiom. Horace, along with his friend Virgil, is the most celebrated and influential poet of Augustus's reign and is renowned for his ability to make the ordinary (the commonplace events and situations of life) extraordinary. There are few surprises or dramatic aberrations in Horace's odes, but the absence of unusual subject matter only serves to draw attention to the simple beauty of its rendering. This will be a superb addition to any library's collection.Thomas F. Merrill, formerly with Univ. of Delaware
NY Review of Books
We must be grateful for what Ferry has accomplished. This is a Horace for our times.
Choice

A translation for the present age, the volume includes footnotes and a brief discussion of how Kaimowitz selected phrases, syllable counts, line length, and references to create brilliant 'reminiscences.'

Classical Bulletin

Kaimowitz claims that 'translators of poetry should at least provide something approaching poetry,' and these lines [the opening of Ode II.9] and many other passages show his skill in doing just that.

Oxonian Review - Clem Wood

With Kaimowitz's Odes, we can learn to love and comprehend Horace's verse as we see his monument up close in a new light.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781436627351
Publisher:
Kessinger Publishing Company
Publication date:
06/28/2008
Pages:
168
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

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What People are saying about this

Ronnie Ancona

Kaimowitz captures the speed and cadence of Horace's often quite long phrases and sentences, keeping their elegance and grandeur—no easy task. This volume provides an excellent way for non–Latin reading scholars, students, and general readers to experience successfully Horace as a lyric poet.

Meet the Author

Jeffrey H. Kaimowitz has a Ph.D. in classics with a specialty in Roman poetry and is the head librarian of the Watkinson Library at Trinity College, Connecticut. He has published a number of translations as well as articles relating to classics and publishing in the Renaissance.

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