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An elegiac translation

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An elegiac translation

Postby Didymus » Fri Aug 10, 2007 2:19 pm

I have been busy of late and unable to comment on some others' recent translations, for which I apologize. Nevertheless, here is a recent effort of my own, rendered with the help of Gepp's hints (exercise XXVIII) in Progressive Exercises in Latin Elegiac Verse.

Code: Select all
Summer is gone with all its roses,
      Its sun and perfumes and sweet flowers,
      Its warm air and refreshing showers:
         And even Autumn closes.

Yea, Autumn's chilly self is going,
      And winter comes which is yet colder;
      Each day the hoar-frost waxes bolder,
         And the last buds cease blowing.

– Christina Rosetti

Latine redditum:

Praeteriit pariter cum sole et odoribus aestas;
  undique flos cecidit, deperiere rosae.
iam Zephyrus posuit: cessat genitabilis imber;
  Autumnus summos iam legit ipse dies;
summos iam legit ipse dies gelidusque recedit,
  brumaque frigidior frigidiorque uenit:
quotquot eunt soles Boreas audacior instat
  ultimaque amisso gemma rubore dolet.


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Re: An elegiac translation

Postby annis » Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:41 pm

Woah. Proto-goth-kid-poetry. Someone get her some Siouxsie and the Banshees!

What on earth does she mean with the last line? My Latin is not so good I can figure out your interpretation.

And the last buds cease blowing.


I have never seen — or heard — any blowing buds in my garden. If she means buds being blown upon, what then does she mean by saying they cease? They die? I can maybe manage a nice dúnad if that's what she means.
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Re: An elegiac translation

Postby Didymus » Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:28 pm

annis wrote:What on earth does she mean with the last line? My Latin is not so good I can figure out your interpretation.

And the last buds cease blowing.


I have never seen — or heard — any blowing buds in my garden. If she means buds being blown upon, what then does she mean by saying they cease? They die? I can maybe manage a nice dúnad if that's what she means.


I find this usage of "blow" rather curious as well. I interpreted it basically as you did though: the buds cease blowing about (= being blowed upon) because they are dead. My translation was elicited by Gepp's suggestion: "And the last bud grieves, having lost its bloom."
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Re: An elegiac translation

Postby annis » Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:39 pm

Didymus wrote:Gepp's suggestion: "And the last bud grieves, having lost its bloom."


Did classical Roman verse often indulge in the pathetic fallacy? I'll be avoiding such a translation in the Greek.
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Re: An elegiac translation

Postby Didymus » Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:47 pm

annis wrote:
Didymus wrote:Gepp's suggestion: "And the last bud grieves, having lost its bloom."


Did classical Roman verse often indulge in the pathetic fallacy? I'll be avoiding such a translation in the Greek.


I must confess that I have not read widely enough to feel on sure ground here. It certainly was not unknown in Augustan poetry; e.g., Vergil E.5.62-64:

ipsi laetitia uoces ad sidera iactant
intonsi montes; ipsae iam carmina rupes,
ipsa sonant arbusta: ...

Many of the examples that come to mind, however, seem tinged with the magical. In Ovid's Metamorphoses, for example, sometimes the transformed seem to retain elements of human emotion, but these are clearly special cases.

So I guess I just don't know. Perhaps someone better informed than I will come along and enlighten us?
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Postby annis » Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:24 am

Is anything more miserable in verse composition than lists?
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Postby Chris Weimer » Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:15 am

You have to understand - Vergil's corpus is huge. There will be some good and some bad. But I think that goes with any poet, ancient or modern. I've never encountered any corpus that was 100% thoroughly excellent, but isn't that what makes us human?
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Postby Didymus » Tue Aug 14, 2007 4:25 pm

annis wrote:Is anything more miserable in verse composition than lists?


Doggerel on the truest misery of verse comp: ;)

Code: Select all
estne mihi rerum tabulis ignauius ullum?
  undari longis, non habuisse breuem!


In general though, I think I have lost the thread of the thread. annis, are you faced with the unfortunate task of versifying a list? Perhaps you shall soon favor us with some elegantly-wrought Greek?
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Postby annis » Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:24 pm

Didymus wrote:annis, are you faced with the unfortunate task of versifying a list? Perhaps you shall soon favor us with some elegantly-wrought Greek?


Much of the first stanza of the Rosetti poem is a list. It has been difficult to Greek.

I'm hoping to have a translation wrought in a few days, though I'm not sure how elegant it will be.

In my search for some metrical help, though, I have learned that Homer never uses the word rose, ῥόδον, nor does Hesiod, nor the Homeric Hymns excepting one example in h. Dem. There are compounds and derivatives, but never the rose itself.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
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Postby Didymus » Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:06 pm

annis wrote:
Didymus wrote:annis, are you faced with the unfortunate task of versifying a list? Perhaps you shall soon favor us with some elegantly-wrought Greek?


Much of the first stanza of the Rosetti poem is a list. It has been difficult to Greek.

I'm hoping to have a translation wrought in a few days, though I'm not sure how elegant it will be.


Ah, I understand now. Outstanding!

So then to Chris: I'm not sure I understood your post either. I am indeed aware of the size of the Vergilian corpus (after all, I've read it), and I shall certainly grant that even Vergil nods. But ... I was not trying to evaluate the poetic merit of the passage I quoted; I was just mentioning that the pathetic fallacy can be found in Augustan poets. I make no claim on whether it is good or bad poetry. Or perhaps I have simply misunderstood?
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Postby annis » Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:56 am

William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby annis » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:55 pm

annis wrote:The only line I really had to pad was seven, where I put the hoar-frost on the ground to fill out the line.


Oy! And an offence against Hermann's bridge, I now realize. I'll have to think about that line more.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby Didymus » Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:06 pm

Well done! I especially enjoyed your first four lines. Since I am at work and LSJ-less (and unable to type Greek), I must ask about the quantity of upsilon in hudata (line 3): is it long in epic? I thought I had learned it as short, but perhaps I misremember.

As to Hermann's bridge, my version violates it too (line 1, unless et is treated as a proclitic for purposes of the metrical law -- I'm not familiar enough with Hermann's bridge to know). I read that Augustan poets paid it little heed, so I decided that I could afford the same license. If I think of an emendation to your line I'll post it.

It certainly does warm my heart to see a fellow verse enthusiast at work. :)
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Postby annis » Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:12 pm

Didymus wrote: I must ask about the quantity of upsilon in hudata (line 3): is it long in epic? I thought I had learned it as short, but perhaps I misremember.


Short is the natural value but it's often lengthened metri gratia.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
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Postby annis » Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:21 am

William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby Didymus » Fri Aug 17, 2007 1:01 am

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Postby Interaxus » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:43 pm

The verb 'blow' was a synonym for 'bloom, blossom' in former times (Middle English: blowen, to bloom, from Old English blowan). Shakespeare used it for instance:

I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania some time of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight
"A Midsummer-Night’s Dream" (2.1.260-5)

(Excuse list, Annis.)

Fitzgerald loved it:

Irám indeed is gone with all its Rose,
And Jamshýd's Sev'n-ring'd Cup where no one knows;
But still the Vine her ancient Ruby yields,
And still a Garden by the Water blows.
..........
I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Cæsar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head.
..........
While the Rose blows along the River Brink,
With old Khayyám the Ruby Vintage drink:
And when the Angel with his darker Draught
Draws up to Thee--take that, and do not shrink.

The rest of the Rubaiyat are here: http://www.kellscraft.com/rubaiyatediti ... manusruby4

Also note this from TheFreeDictionary:

full-blown
adj.
1. Having blossomed or opened completely: full-blown roses.
2. Fully developed or matured.
3. Having or displaying all the characteristics necessary for completeness: a full-blown financial crisis.

Cheers,
Int
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