Eratosphere (
-   Translation (
-   -   Arundel (

Andrew Szilvasy 07-24-2018 06:09 PM

Ode to Flora
.....After Arundal Lyric 6

Winterís frozen all, but my mind,
ignorant of seasons, canít find
.....a way to freeze.
The cold has turned the sea on its head
but still my anchor holds seabed
.....and wonít release.

Cruel Fate has driven me away,
from the safety of your bay.
.....The shoaly seas
and all their dangers do not have
the strength to hold me since you gave
.....your favorís breeze.

I turn my prow toward waves, and advance
.....into the seaís expanseÖ

Version 1
After Arundel Lyric 6

Winterís frozen all, but my mind,
ignorant of seasons, canít find
.....any peace.
The cold has turned the sea on its head
but still my anchor holds seabed
.....and wonít release.

Cruel Fate has driven me away,
Flora, from the safety of your bay.
.....The shoaly seas
and all their dangers do not have
the strength to hold me since you gave
.....your favorís breeze.

I turn my prow toward waves, and advance
.....into the seaís expanseÖ


S2L1-3 were:

And now, my Flora, cruel Destiny
has driven me from your port to sea.
The shoaly deeps


(Medieval Latin as some odd spellings. After the lines I put in the Classical Latin spelling of the variants.

Brume torpescunt frigora...............[Brumae]
Set nescit sequi tempora................[sed]
.....Mens nescia torpere.
Evertit hyems equora.....................[hiems, aequora]
Set mea novit anchora...................[set, ancora]
.....Tenacius herere.

Tuo nunc portu, Florula,
Me sors amovit emula....................[aemula]
.....Set sufficit prebere...................[sed, praebere]
Tui favoris aurula
Ne Sirtes, ne pericula.....................[syrtes]
.....Me valeant tenere.

In fluctus proram dirigo


The frosts of winter are stiff/listless/indolent
But not knowing how to follow the seasons,
My mind is ignorant of being still.
Winter roils the sea,
But my anchor knows
How to cling more tightly.

Now from your port, little Flora,
Jealous fate banishes me
But the gentle breeze of your favor
Supplies enough to make it so
that neither the sandbanks nor the dangers (hendiadys)
Have the strength to hold me

Into the waves I direct my prow
Far away


Unlike Classical Latin, this medieval Latin poem (and the others in the manuscript) operates based on rhyme and stress, though it's more like Spanish romanceros and the like, in that the penult (if the penult is long) or the antepenult (if the penult is short) gets the line's major stress. This is a fragment, but I quite like the fragment as is, and turned it into a Pindaric Ode (two stanzas with the same pattern, a final epode doing it's own thing).

Given the prevalence of rhyme, I thought it was important to keep it, and keep it as true a rhyme as I could. I really struggled keeping the rhyme and meaning in S2L3-6, much more so than in S1 or S3. What I have I like enough to share, but only just enough...

Also, I'm working on a better title, and am open to suggestions.

John Isbell 07-24-2018 06:16 PM

Hi Andrew,

Arundel I know, but Arundal is new to me and seems unknown to Google. Could you provide the original here for comparison?


Andrew Szilvasy 07-24-2018 06:20 PM

Hi John,

I must have accidentally posted this before I got all my other ducks in a row. Sorry about that.

You'll now see an original, a rough crib, and some notes.

The Arundel Lyrics (I fixed the typo) were found in the early 19th century in the British Library, and offer mid 12th century accentual Latin love and religious poems.

John Isbell 07-24-2018 08:28 PM

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the clarification! I'll have to study the Latin at leisure, which won't be happening at now 2:30 a.m. here in Warsaw. I'll be back.


John Isbell 07-24-2018 08:45 PM

Well, I've got as far as studying the crib (can't sleep). For the lines, "But not knowing how to follow the seasons,/ My mind is ignorant of being still", how about "But the mind, ignorant of being still, / Doesn't know how to follow the seasons"? Now at some point I just have to compare your final version line by line.
Anyway, at first read I quite liked this. I think Ode is a fine title for a Latin poem, though maybe not a medieval one. It does feel a bit ode-ish.


Update: a short note to say that "The shoaly deeps" seems a contradiction in terms to me. If it's a shoal, it's not deep. I was thinking this could be a reference to the storm in Aeneid II.

Andrew Szilvasy 07-25-2018 12:10 PM

Hi John,

Thanks for your thoughts here. Obviously "shoaly deeps" is paradoxical in one sense, but the "deeps" or the "deep" is so commonly used for the sea/ocean I think I can get away with it. If I can't, oh dear, back to the drawing board for that whole bit, which I spent many hours on. :(

I quite like the idea of Vergil there.

EDIT: If I have to edit "deeps" I can go back to "seas" (which is a purer rhyme), leaving S2L3-6 alone, and then retackle the first two lines.

EDIT AGAIN: Okay, it bothered me enough that I've done what I suggested in my first edit, and reworked the first part of that stanza. I lost "nunc," but always felt to me the least important word.

Julie Steiner 07-25-2018 01:20 PM

I would rather see "a way to freeze" than "any peace" in L3. I think the echo of "torpescunt" and "torpere" is important, the rhyme is closer to the rhymes in the second stanza, the line length is closer to the original, and I also fail to see a logical reason why being cold should give one's mind "peace," anyway.

I also wonder about "Winter's frozen all," as LL4-6 make it clear that the sea itself isn't frozen.

"While" instead of "but" and "can't" instead of "won't" might better convey the turmoil; "but" and "won't" make it seem as if the narrator is actually secure and determined in this time of trial, rather than at the mercy of a bad situation.

Susan McLean 07-25-2018 02:39 PM

Andrew, I don't know if this will be helpful or just cause more trouble for you, but when I try to translate Latin, I aim to keep lines around the same length as the original lines. A four-beat line in English sounds longer than the Latin line to me. In some ways, that makes following the content easier, but it also takes some of the punch out of the lines. The lines in red at the start of S2 sound to me as if they are five-beat lines. You also want to keep a consistent pattern.


Andrew Szilvasy 07-25-2018 03:52 PM

Julie and Susan,

Thanks for your thoughts here. A new draft is up addressing some of your concerns.

Julie, I've taken your suggestion on "a way to freeze." I hadn't fully considered the repetition there. Further, in bringing the rhyme in line with those of S2, the gets closer a little closer to the feel.

I'm also thinking on a way to lose "all," though I think it can work as it is (I see it as the first metaphor, before the poem jumps to its bigger one), it may be better to with something less restrictive.

On "while" and "can't," I'm still considering. They may appear in a subsequent draft.

Susan, while I think S2L1 is 4 beats, you're right on S2L2, no matter how much I wanted to be wrong. I wanted to direct address, but can't make it work. To rectify that, I added "Flora" to the title. I don't know if that works better.

I do match the lines syllable to syllable, and shrink it in the shorter lines (7 syllables in the Latin to 4 in the English). I don't know if you were thinking 3-beats might be better. I spent some time experimenting with 3-3-2 lines.
Cold holds tight, but my mind,
blind to time, canít find
.....a way to freeze.
Winterís flipped sea on its head,
but my anchor holds seabed
.....and wonít release.

Cruel Fate forced me away,
from the safety of your bay.
.....The shoaly seas
and dangers do not have
the strength to hold meóyou gave
.....your favorís breeze.

My prow facing waves, I advance
.....into the seaís expanseÖ
I don't know if people like that better.

Andrew Szilvasy 07-25-2018 07:43 PM

In reflecting on Julie's comments, I started doing so more research.

Love's & shipwreck on the shoals of the Syrtic Sea between the coast of Carthage and Cyrene seems to be a trope. A note in my Dunbarton Oaks says "Its metaphorical use refers to the trope of love's shipwreck." In this, the shoals are dangerous, and therefore bad--something to overcome. In Arundel Lyric 2 we get:

....ut Sirtibus
mens nequeat avelli

Roughly, in context: so that my mind cannot be ripped away from the fortunate shoals.

What gives? Anyone know this trope?

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:15 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.