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  #11  
Old 09-28-2017, 01:54 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Bibulus would be a good name for a Roman in Asterix.

Cheers,
John
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  #12  
Old 09-28-2017, 03:07 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Hi Aaron,

Thanks for the thoughts here. I think L5 needs revision, and you've convinced me about the need to fix L1. I really want to end S1 on "a surprise rose," but that initial strong beat that flows logically and reads naturally; "for" just doesn't have the heft. I've been stuck on it now for a day or two, and so haven't spent the time yet on rehabilitating the other two lines.

I'm sad to see John go--one of my hopes in this series it to include my friends (and wife!) as the characters rather than the original Greek or Latin names. But you've convinced my friend John will need to wait for another poem, and the less generic "Brett" takes his place in this Horatian Ode. I'm going to wrestle with the other lines now, and try to come back to the end of the Sapphic later.

Speaking of bibulous, if you can make it to Boston for a reading, and are up for it, first drink on me.
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  #13  
Old 09-28-2017, 03:15 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Andrew,

Reading your revision, my only immediate concern was just showing up twice. I wonder if there's another handy monosyllable?

Cheers,
John
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  #14  
Old 09-28-2017, 03:23 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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John,

Good catch. There should only be one.

One thing I'm not loving about the structure is that all but one of them has an immediate caesura to start a line. I think handling L5 more deftly would alleviate both of those issues.
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  #15  
Old 09-28-2017, 05:26 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Okay, new revision up that addresses John's and Aaron's (and my own) concerns.
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  #16  
Old 09-28-2017, 07:41 PM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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I strongly endorse Aaron's thought that "it’s not enough that a line COULD be read according to the pattern—the line should be so written that it COULD BE READ NO OTHER WAY than according to the pattern."

'Tain't always easy to do that.

"Brett" is just fine! But if you are trying for a egalitarian tone, there are other possibilities. Light-heartedly, but seriously, I'd suggest... Max!
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  #17  
Old 09-29-2017, 07:07 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Hi Allen,

Thanks for your thoughts. Aaron has convinced me of this as well. Any thoughts on areas here that don't live up to that? I think "hate all these fancy" works, but that "all" may be a problem [EDIT: this was about a trial of 'Just please quit' which I moved away from already].

Also, why Max?

Last edited by Andrew Szilvasy; 09-29-2017 at 07:10 AM.
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  #18  
Old 09-29-2017, 09:51 AM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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'Max' has no special relevance for me beyond its suggestion of "greatness" in the addressee. Since my reading of Horace has always been that he regarded his farm workers as essentially free people who happened to be his room and board employees (this is not unreasonable since his own father had been a freed slave -- many Roman intelligentsia would have adapted easily to the modern world in this matter -- I cite Catullus, whose ironic comments on Roman slavery can be read that way, and whose family in the Verona area had almost certainly seen the army of Spartacus almost on their doorstep when Catullus was a boy). Anyway, Max could suggest capability. But I have no special brief for that name other than its being an alternative.
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  #19  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:10 PM
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AZ Foreman AZ Foreman is offline
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Quote:
I have been thinking about “original meters” translations lately. This is what I would advise—it’s not enough that a line COULD be read according to the pattern—the line should be so written that it COULD BE READ NO OTHER WAY than according to the pattern. (Sorry for the scare caps).
This brings up a point that I think is relevant to translation of Horatian Sapphics.

Horace's early sapphics can be read two different ways, one quantitative and one accentual.

Old Latin was a stress-initial language (like Old English or modern Hungarian) with words stressed on the initial syllable as in fácilius "easier." Over the course of about a century or so (up to and through the time of Plautus and Terence), syllable weight came to be prosodically relevant to a degree in that a new stress pattern (i.e. the Latin "Penultimate Rule" or "Dreimorengesetz" ), probably originally the outgrowth of post-initial secondary stress, came to depend on it. Furthermore, when unstressed, metrical heaviness was a determining factor in whether a sound would be syncopated or reduced.

But while syllable weight was phonologically and prosodically relevant, Latin differed from Greek in how the category of metrical feet interacted with the prosody of actual speech, at least as far as can be determined from the actual evidence at hand. Long story short: the "subtlety" of the hexameter was all but irrelevant to many an unschooled Roman. (Despite the fact that there is no real evidence for loss of long/short vowel quantity distinction in the language until the third century AD.) In pre-pausal and/or word-final position, syllable weight seems to have been irrelevant, according to most analyses. Many epigraphic attempts at hexameters, produced by persons of little education, attest to this. Often it is only in the final two feet, where verse-ictus and word-stress normally coincided as -́uu-́x, that one can clearly see the epigraphist's ambition to a hexameter.

In all periods, Roman "low-brow" verse meant for popular consumption (such as comedic dialogue, soldiers' marches and popular songs) usually gave preference to stress-patterning over syllable weight. Even a cultivated Latin poet like Catullus could employ a stress-pattern superimposed on a quantitative pattern either when he wished to imitate Greek iambics, or when he wished to sound "streety" for some reason. Here for example, he uses more or less the same rhythm as English ballad-meter:

Cináede thálle móllior
cunī́culī capíllō
Vel ā́nseris medúllula
vel ī́mul(a) ōricíllā

Which brings me back to Horace. He developed a variant of the Sapphic meter which added mandatory caesuras in certain positions to guarantee a fairly predictable accentual patterning over the quantitative one as in the poem translated here. The first three lines of the stanza all scan accentually as -uu-u-uúu-u (with - representing a stressed syllable u an unstressed one and ú bearing optional, usually secondary stress.)

Pérsicōs ṓdī, púer, apparā́tus,
dísplicent néxae phílyrā corṓnae,
mítte sectā́rī, rósa quō locṓrum
sḗra morḗtur

So popular was this accentual sapphic form that Horace mentions later that he was upset that people reciting his verse showed no regard for syllable weight and seemed to care only about his stress patterns. His flouting of his caesural rules in composition of the carmen saeculare may have been a reaction to this.

This opens questions for the translator, I think, as to how strict (and strict in what sense) one wishes to be about the meters of Horatian sapphics.

The accentual sapphic after all has a long history in English, both in original composition and in translation ("Fáther most hóly, mérciful and lóving...")

Last edited by AZ Foreman; 10-12-2017 at 03:33 AM.
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  #20  
Old 10-11-2017, 10:10 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Really interesting thoughts here. I have to say, I'm always fascinated by what I read when I see you post. I feel like I have a pretty good sense of Latin literary history, and yet I've taken away something new and interesting.

Thanks for that.
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