The Odes of Horace (Bilingual Edition)

Overview

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

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Overview

The Latin poet Horace is, along with his friend Virgil, the most celebrated of the poets of the reign of the Emperor Augustus, and, with Virgil, the most influential. These marvelously constructed poems with their unswerving clarity of vision and their extraordinary range of tone and emotion have deeply affected the poetry of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Herbert, Dryden, Marvell, Pope, Samuel Johnson, Wordsworth, Frost, Larkin, Auden, and many others, in English and in other languages.

Now David Ferry, the acclaimed poet and translator of Gilgamesh, has made an inspired new translation of the complete Odes of Horace, one that conveys the wit, ardor and sublimity of the original with a music of all its own.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"We must be grateful for what Ferry has accomplished. This is a Horace for our times."—Bernard Knox, The New York Review of Books

"We finally have an English Horce whose rhythmical subtlety and variety do justice to the Latin poet's own inventiveness, in which emotion rises from the motion of the verse...To sense the achievement, one has to read the collection as a whole...and they can take one's breath away even as they continue breathing."—Rosanna Warren, The Threepenny Review

"Certainly David Ferry's Horace is a book to place next to Robert Fitzgerald's Aeneid...If you want all the odes—and you should—this is the volume to buy, read, and treasure."—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World

"[David Ferry] has done what nobody has been able to do since...the 1740's; he has found a voice, contemporary and yet Horatian, through which that poetical wonder, the Odes of Horace, can address us."—D.S. Carne-Ross, The New Criterion

"There is no end here to power and delicacy and variety. Ferry's Odes is a book one will always have and always read."—Rodney Gove Dennis, Harvard Review

From The Critics
...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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374525729
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Language: Latin
  • Edition description: BILINGUAL
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 483,249
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

David Ferry, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry for his translation of Gilgamesh, is a poet and translator who has also won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, given by the Academy of American Poets, and the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, given by the Library of Congress. In 2001, he received an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2002 he won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award. Ferry is the Sophie Chantal Hart Professor of English Emeritus at Wellesley College.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2000

    Pointless mistranslation

    The 'translator' offers 'Ouija board' as a translation of 'Babylonian numbers' and is actually proud of it. I stopped reading after the forward. If this is the pitiful level that translation has fallen to I will shop the used and out of print market.

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