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Latin Poetry

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Latin Poetry

Postby Einhard » Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:30 pm

Salvete,

I wonder if anyone could recommend some short introductions to Latin literary styles, especially as it pertains to poetry. I've been translating some of the pieces in Wheelock recently, and was beginning to think that my Latin wasn't as advanced as I had believed, until I realised that the translations were correct, it was the poetry itself that perplexed me! I'm not looking for technical stuff such as metre etc, but on how Roman poets expressed themselves. Thanks in advance,

Einhard.
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Re: Latin Poetry

Postby adrianus » Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:42 pm

Maybe you'll like these, Einhard. I don't really know. I haven't read the Anthon, only skimmed it. It's not short, though.
Fortassè, Einharde, haec tibi placebunt. Incertus sum. Librum de Anthon non legi, modò perlustravi. Sed longus est.

Harry C. Schnur, "Do-It-Yourself: How To Write Latin Verse", The Classical Journal, 52 (1957), 353-357 http://www.suberic.net/~marc/schnur.html
Anthon, System of Latin Versification http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9W4ZAAAAYAAJ&dq=charles+anthon+A+System+of+Latin+Versification&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=ZxG9jb3T4T&sig=ZHLY2YsZLzKt0rJgDM0eGgytMHU&hl=en&ei=tHhwSp_hJeCZjAfi1aG_Bw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Latin Poetry

Postby paulusnb » Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:12 am

I cannot recommend any books that do what you ask, but I do understand your quandary. A lot of Roman poetry is inaccessible. Many of the jokes of Martial and Catullus fall flat for me, for example.

The poetry book I always recommend is Beginning Latin Poetry Reader http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Latin-P ... 797&sr=8-1. It will not have many assessments of style, but it is a good, cheap anthology. I like the selections.

Cambridge has a dry series on Classical Lit. You could always try the OCD for info on authors.
When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. ~Swift
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Re: Latin Poetry

Postby spiphany » Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:03 pm

Which authors have you been reading?
Edith Hamilton has a little book "The Roman Way" which I found helpful when doing Latin poetry in school. It's not really very academic, but in some ways that's better; she writes with such affection about the authors, as though they were personal friends, and we get quite a clear impression of the different poets' styles and personalities.

As for reading poetry, this can be quite a shock at first, both because everything you thought you knew about word order no longer seems to apply, not to mention that the vocabulary is very different than in prose, and also because there's often a certain self-reflexiveness about Latin poetry which we don't necessarily expect.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: Latin Poetry

Postby cantator » Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:25 pm

Einhard wrote:I wonder if anyone could recommend some short introductions to Latin literary styles, especially as it pertains to poetry. I've been translating some of the pieces in Wheelock recently, and was beginning to think that my Latin wasn't as advanced as I had believed, until I realised that the translations were correct, it was the poetry itself that perplexed me! I'm not looking for technical stuff such as metre etc, but on how Roman poets expressed themselves. Thanks in advance,


You might find this book helpful:

Reading Latin Poetry, by Roger Hornsby

A search on Amazon turned up copies for ~$3US.
Similis sum folio de quo ludunt venti.
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