The Epistles of Horace: Bilingual Edition

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Macmillan, Sep 30, 2002 - Literary Collections - 224 pages
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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 Horace

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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 ... Read full review

Contents

TO MAECENAS
3
TO LOLLIUS MAXIMUS
13
TO JULIUS FLORUS
19
TO THE POET TIBULLUS
23
TO TORQUATUS
25
TO NUMICIUS
29
TO MAECENAS
35
TO CELSUS ALBINOVANUS
43
TO VINIUS ASINA
59
TO THE MANAGER OF HIS FARM
63
TO NUMONIUS VALA
69
TO QUINCTIUS
73
TO SCAEVA
81
TO LOLLIUS MAXIMUS
89
EPISTLE i9 TO MAECENAS
99
TO HIS BOOK
105

TO TIBERIUS CLAUDIUS NERO CAESAR
45
TO ARISTIUS FUSCUS
47
TO BULLATIUS
51
TO ICCIUS
55
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
189
GLOSSARY
197
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

David Ferry, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry for his translation of Gilgamesh, is a poet and translator who has also won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, given by the Academy of American Poets, and the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, given by the Library of Congress. In 2001, he received an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2002 he won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award. Ferry is the Sophie Chantal Hart Professor of English Emeritus at Wellesley College.

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