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  #11  
Old 02-22-2018, 10:55 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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In Poem 1.19, Propertius claims that he fears not death but separation from Cynthia at death. Yes, his clinginess is so intense that he projects it beyond the grave. He consoles himself with the thought that “a great love pierces even the shores of death.”

Non ego nunc tristis vereor, mea Cynthia, Manis,

I no longer fear, my darling Cynthia, the sad shades of the Underworld;

nec moror extremo debita fata rogo;

I no longer try to delay the fate-payment owed to the pyre at the end of life.

sed ne forte tuo careat mihi funus amore,

I only fear that my burial might possibly be without your love.

hic timor est ipsis durior exsequiis.

This fear is harder than the thought of the funeral itself.

non adeo leviter nostris puer haesit ocellis,

The boy (the Love-god) has not clung so lightly to my eyes

ut meus oblito pulvis amore vacet.

that my ashes might lie there empty, with our love forgotten by them.

(Yes, Propertius imagines a ghost returning to try to grope its former wife.)


illic Phylacides iucundae coniugis heros

There in the blind regions (in the Underworld) (the ghost of) the hero

Protesilaus (the first hero to die at Troy)

non potuit caecis immemor esse locis,

could not be forgetful of his delightful wife,

sed cupidus falsis attingere gaudia palmis

but, covetous to grope his (former) delights with insubstantial hands,

Thessalus antiquam venerat umbra domum.

he returned as a shade to his old home in Thrace.

(Yes, Propertius imagines a ghost returning to its former home to grope its former wife. Ghost sex=hot.)


illic quidquid ero, semper tua dicar imago:

There (in the Underworld) whatever I will be, I will be called “Cynthia’s ghost.”

traicit et fati litora magnus amor.

A great love crosses even the shores of death.

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 02-22-2018 at 01:55 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-22-2018, 07:51 PM
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Gail White Gail White is offline
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These are all fascinating, Aaron. I join those who wish you would do the lot.
Am I right in thinking that there was some pressure on A.E. Housman to translate Propertius, but he went on with that boring Manilius instead?
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  #13  
Old 02-22-2018, 08:08 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Hmn, Gail, Housman did edit an edition of Propertius. In his play "Invention of Love" Tom Stoppard portrays the young Housman as obsessed with Propertius.
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Old 02-23-2018, 04:55 AM
Kevin Greene Kevin Greene is offline
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It would be nice to get the real story on Housman. (I absolutely love his poetry.) As a scholar, I've only heard him described as a pedant (and a rather boring one!)
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:07 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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I've heard two things about Housman as a scholar:

1. He was somewhat unusual in being a Latinist.
2. He was quite brilliant.

Of course, this does not preclude him being a pedant, that I can't answer. But a Latinist friend of mine used to read his scholarship for pleasure.

Cheers,
John
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  #16  
Old 02-23-2018, 08:56 AM
Kevin Greene Kevin Greene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Isbell View Post
But a Latinist friend of mine used to read his scholarship for pleasure.
There may be a poem in that.
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  #17  
Old 02-24-2018, 01:28 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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I need some translation work to cleanse my palate, so here goes: in Elegy 1.18, Propertius has gone to “deserta loca” (desert places) to grieve in private over his frustrating love for Cynthia. I will pick up at the point where he starts talking to the trees:

vos eritis testes, si quos habet arbor amores,

If trees have any feelings of love, you will be my witnesses,

fagus et Arcadio pinus amica deo.

beech tree and pine dear to the Arcadian god (Pan).

a quotiens teneras resonant mea verba sub umbras,

Ah, how often my words have echoed under your gentle branches,

scribitur et vestris Cynthia corticibus!

how often has “Cynthia” been written on your bark!

an tua quod peperit nobis iniuria curas?

Is it that some insult (of you from me) has produced my grief?

quae solum tacitis cognita sunt foribus.

Such things are known only to hush-hush (locked) doors.

omnia consuevi timidus perferre superbae

I am accustomed to be subservient, to suffer all the commands of my haughty mistress

iussa neque arguto facta dolore queri.

and not to complain, in shrill misery, of her actions.

pro quo divini fontes et frigida rupes

That’s why I get these sacred springs and this cold rock

et datur inculto tramite dura quies;

and this rude silence on an overgrown path.

et quodcumque meae possunt narrare querelae,

I have no other recourse than to speak

cogor ad argutas dicere solus avis.

to raucous birds whatever my complaints have to say.

sed qualiscumque es resonent mihi ‘Cynthia’ silvae,

But let the wilderness echo “Cynthia”—whatever sort of person you really are.

nec deserta tuo nomine saxa vacent.

Let these rocks in the sticks be full of the sound of your name.
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  #18  
Old 03-02-2018, 09:09 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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fortiter et ferrum saevos patiemur et ignis,
sit modo libertas quae velit ira loqui.

I will staunchly suffer steel and cruel fires--
just give my rage freedom to speak as it desires.
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