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Horace ii.10

english translation

Horace ii.10

original Latin poem

Horace ii.10

Rectius vives, Licini, neque altum
semper urgendo neque, dum procellas
cautus horrescis, nimium premendo
            litus iniquum.

Auream quisquis mediocritatem
diligit, tutus caret obsoleti
sordibus tecti, caret invidenda
            sobrius aula.

Saepius ventis agitatur ingens
pinus et celsae graviore casu
decidunt turres feriuntque summos
            fulgura montis.

Sperat infestis, metuit secundis
alteram sortem bene praeparatum
pectus. Informis hiemes reducit
            Iuppiter; idem

summovet. Non, si male nunc, et olim
sic erit : quondam cithara tacentem
suscitat Musam neque semper arcum
            tendit Apollo.

Rebus angustis animosus atque
fortis adpare ; sapienter idem
contrahes vento nimium secundo
            turgida vela.


Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca)

Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374), commonly known as Petrarch in the English-speaking world, is the great Italian master whose work helped to create the Renaissance sonnet craze in England. He was a Franciscan tertiary, a scholar of the Classics, a friend to Decameron author Giovanni Boccaccio, and an immensely popular poet in his day. Despite his religious vows, he had two children out of wedlock, and is best known for sonnets professing intense love for a woman named Laura.



Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus)

Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 BC–8 BC), “Horace” to the English-speaking world, was a Roman lyrical poet of satire and historical/pastoral odes. Son of a freedman, eventually he became close friends with Virgil. His famous Ars poetica has been an abc of poetry practice and criticism. He was given a farm near Tivoli, and there he wrote his pastoral and other poems. His main works are his Satires, Odes, Epodes, and Epistles. His Ars suggests that a poet should read widely, and be precise and plain in thought and speech.


Feng Zhi

Feng Zhi was born Feng Chengzhi in 1905 in Hebei province. He graduated from Beijing University, where he had studied German from 1921–27 and later (1930–35), studied German philosophy and literature in Berlin and Heidelberg. He published two poetry collections, Songs of Yesterday (1927) and Northern Wanderings and Other Poems (1929), and then didn’t publish for over a decade. He began writing again after fleeing Beijing for the south of China.


Sonnet 15: Look at Those Teams of Pack Horses

english translation

Sonnet 15: Look at Those Teams of Pack Horses

original Chinese poem

15. 看这一队队的驮马






Chou Ping

Chou Ping is a professor at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. He has coedited/co-translated several books with Tony Barnstone, including Chinese Erotic Poetry (Everyman, 2007); The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry (Anchor, 2005); and The Art of Writing: Teachings of the Chinese Masters (Shambhala, 1996).



Ballade 37 from Other Ballades

english translation

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Maryann Corbett reads the poem in translation, Ballade 37 from Other Ballades by Christine de Pizan (translated from the Middle French.)

Ballade 37 from Other Ballades

original Middle French poem

Autres Balades : XXXVII

      Jadis avoit en la cité d’Athènes
      Fleur d’estude de clergie souvraine ;
      Mais, non obstant les sentences certaines
      De leur grant sens, une erreur trop vilaine
      Les decepvoit, car pluseurs divers dieux
      Aouroient, dont aucuns pour leur mieulx
      Y preschierent qu’ilz devoient savoir
      Qu’il n’est qu’un Dieu, mais mal en prist à cieux ;
      On est souvent batu pour dire voir.

      Aristote le très sage, aux haultaines
      Sciences prompt, d’ycelle cité, pleine
      De tel erreur, fu fuitis ; maintes peines
      Il en souffri Socrates qui fontaine
      De sens estoit ; fu chaciéde cil lieux
      Pluseurs autres occis des envieulx
      Pour verité dire, et apercevoir
      Peut bien chascun que partout soubz les cieulx
      On est souvent batu pour dire voir.

      Se ainsi va des sentences mondaines ;
      Pour ce le di que pluseurs ont ataine
      Sur moy, pour tant que paroles très vaines,
      Deshonnestes et diffame incertaine,
      Reprendre osay, en jeunes et en vieulx,
      Et le Romant, plaisant aux curieux,
      De la Rose, que l’en devroit ardoir !
      Mais pour ce mot maint me sauldroit aux yeux
      On est souvent batu pour dire voir.

      Princes, certes, voir dire est anyeux
      Aux mençongeurs qui veulent decevoir,
      Pour ce au pere voit on mentir le fieulx :
      On est souvent batu pour dire voir.


Maryann Corbett

Maryann Corbett’s third book, Mid Evil, was the winner of the Richard Wilbur Award for 2014. She is also a past cowinner of the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize. Her poems and translations have appeared in many journals and in anthologies, most recently Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters. Her work has been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, American Life in Poetry, and the Writer’s Almanac.



Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan was the first woman in France, and possibly in Europe, known to have supported herself and her family by means of her writing. She took up the pen after the death of her husband and produced several collections of poems, but she is best known now for her prose works on the role of women, such as The City of Ladies.


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