The Epistles of Horace: Bilingual Edition
My aim is to take familiar things and make
Poetry of them, and do it in such a way
That it looks as if it was as easy as could be
For anybody to do it . . . the power of making
A perfectly wonderful thing out of nothing much.
--from "The Art of Poetry"
When David Ferry's translation of The Odes of Horace appeared in 1997, Bernard Knox, writing in The New York Review of Books, called it "a Horace for our times." Now Ferry has translated Horace's two books of Epistles, in which Horace perfected the conversational verse medium that gives his voice such dazzling immediacy, speaking in these letters with such directness, wit, and urgency to young writers, to friends, to his patron Maecenas, to Emperor Augustus himself. It is the voice of a free man, talking about how to get along in a Roman world full of temptations, opportunities, and contingencies, and how to do so with one's integrity intact. Horace's world, so unlike our own and yet so like it, comes to life in these poems. And there are also the poems -- the famous "Art of Poetry" and others -- about the tasks and responsibilities of the writer: truth to the demands of one's medium, fearless clear-sighted self-knowledge, and unillusioned, uncynical realism, joyfully recognizing the world for what it is.
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The epistles of HoraceUser Review - Book Verdict
Horace's hexameter verse letters to his patron Maecenas, the Emperor Augustus, and his friends, including the famous "To the Pisos" (Ars Poetica), a classic statement on Roman poetics, are masterpieces of wit and wry wisdom. Latin inflections give Horace a conciseness and rhetorical snap that allow him to be both sententious and light at the same time. Ferry (emeritus, English, Wellesley Coll.; Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations) comes well equipped to translate Horace, having produced a version of The Odes of Horace as well as The Eclogues of Virgil. He renders The Epistles in fluent iambic pentameter. Because of the uninflected nature of English, his translations are accurate but less concise and rhetorically sharp. Smith Bovie's modern verse translations (1959. o.p.) come closer to Horace's tone, while Ferry is closer to the word. Ferry's version provides the Latin on the facing page and includes brief notes to identify names. Recommended for both public and academic libraries. T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah, GA ...
Review: The Epistles of Horace: Bilingual EditionUser Review - Rebecca - Goodreads
David Ferry does very approachable translations, and this one is a fun, quick read. It's a collection of Horace's letters to his friends. He doles out a lot of advice, and it's solid advice--if he ... Read full review
TO LOLLIUS MAXIMUS
TO JULIUS FLORUS
TO THE POET TIBULLUS
TO CELSUS ALBINOVANUS
TO VINIUS ASINA
TO THE MANAGER OF HIS FARM
TO NUMONIUS VALA
TO LOLLIUS MAXIMUS
EPISTLE i9 TO MAECENAS
TO HIS BOOK