Andrew S. Is Wrong
Anyone who thinks Ovid is a better Elegaic poet than Propertius is a confirmed snuffleupagus!
This is my favorite thread title in some time.
Ha! If I am wrong, let me be wrong with the Shakespeares, the Marlowes, the Miltons, the Alighieris and the Pushkins.
Let me be wrong, if these be the ranks of the wrong.
Don't try to throw sand into my eyes! Those luminaries love Ovid's hexameters--the "Metamorphoses"--not his elegaics (which are not as good as Propertius').
Marlowe translated the Amores; the Monobilbios, not so much.
Pushkin the exile turned to the Tristia.
Shakespeare knew and used the Ars Amatoria.
Milton's youthful elegies owe their debt to the Amores.
(You got me
Well, influence, schminfluence. We aren't talking about which poet is more influential. We are talking about which poet wrote better elegaics--that is, we are talking about propertius!!!!!
Ah, but we disagree there. Ovid is better. Not just better, but the master of the elegiac couplet.
It seems reasonable in a matter of taste to turn to precedent: who did better poets and readers than you or I most cherish? When they turned to users of the elegiac couplets, which of the four classical models did they look to? Catullus? Tibullus? Propertius? Ovid?
Naso wins. He wins because it is more fluid in the couplet, snaps the trap shut best, if you will, and speaks with more facility and on a greater range of topics in the form.
Long live Naso, the poor exile.
Ovid is more influential because he is easier. Those of us with better Latin, with more discerning, with--dare I say?--better taste recognize that Propertius' Elegies beat Ovid's in every category.
Here is a little equation entitled "Andrew S. is wrong":
Passion + Craft = Sublimity.
Wit + Craft = Cleverness.
Sublimity > Cleverness
Oh! You just got burned, dude!
A friend of mine argued in his Ph.D. thesis that Ovid may never have left Rome. He may have made the exile up:
Banished Voices: Readings in Ovid's Exile Poetry - Gareth D. Williams ...
https://books.google.com › History › Ancient › General
Qualis Thesea iacuit cedente carina
languida desertis Cnosia litoribus;
qualis et accubuit primo Cepheia somno
libera iam duris cotibus Andromede;
nec minus assiduis Edonis fessa choreis
qualis in herboso concidit Apidano:
talis visa mihi mollem spirare quietem
Cynthia non certis nixa caput manibus,
ebria cum multo traherem vestigia Baccho. . .
As Cnossian Ariadne lay languid on lonely shores
when Theseus’ ship was sailing away,
as Cepheus' daughter Andromeda lapsed into her first sleep
since she was freed from the hard stone,
even as the Edonian Bacchante lay, when she fell,
exhausted by dancing, on grassy Apidanus,
so Cynthia seemed to sleep, breathing gentle quiet,
supporting her head with slipping hands,
when I dragged in feet drunk with much Bacchus. . .
. . . . .
Victoria est mea, Hui!
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