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Poems anyone?

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Re: Poems anyone?

Postby paulusnb » Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:03 pm

Superavi

I will have to respond later. My daughters are up from their nap and must be attended to.
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: Poems anyone?

Postby paulusnb » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:44 pm

Superavi wrote:Lesbia, at one time you were speaking to have known Catullus alone
But not to be willing to hold Jupiter in front of me
At that time I didn't like you so much as an acquaintance
but your father __ likes appropriate son-in-laws
Now that I have known you: even if, how strong I burn
You are, however, cheaper and easier to me
What can it do? You say. Because such injury brings together
to love, but to not wish well at all


Dicebas quondam solum te nosse Catullum
Lesbia, nec prae me velle tenere Iovem.
dilexi tum te non tantum ut vulgus amicam,
sed pater ut gnatos diligit et generos.
nunc te cognovi: quare etsi impensius uror,
multo mi tamen es vilior et levior.
qui potis est? inquis. quod amantem iniuria talis
cogit amare magis, sed bene velle minus.


Good start. Maybe this can help.

Instead of speaking, "used to say" sounds better. The infinitive nosse in line 1 is indirect speech with Dicebas (imperfect). Prae me=before/instead of me. Velle-prefer/wish
tenere=to hold with velle. Velle is infinitive with indirect speech\. Dicebas again.

Dilexi- perf. I loved you. Tum-then.
non tantum ut vulgus amicam-not as the vulgar love a friend
sed pater ut gnatos diligit et generos-but as a father loves son and son-in-law
quare etsi impensius uror-therefore, Although I burn more fiercely
multo mi tamen es vilior et levior- to me, you are much cheaper and lighter

qui potis est? How is this possible? inquis-you ask

quod amantem iniuria talis cogit amare magis, sed bene velle minus. Change order to Quod inuria talis cogit amantem amare magis .....-such injuries cause the lover to love more, but to wish well less.


My translation

You used to say that you knew Catullus alone,
Lesbia, nor did you wish to hold Jove himself.

I loved you then not as the vulgar love their friends
But as a father loves his sons and sons-in-laws.

Now I know you: and although I burn more intensely,
To me you are much cheaper and lighter.

How is this? you ask. Because such injuries cause the lover to love more, but to wish good things less.

My comment....Catullus considered his love for Lesbia a holy/special love. He did not want to rub against her like the vulgar playboy. He wanted to set her apart like a father does his own sons. Their love meant more than simply the physical...to Catullus.
Last edited by paulusnb on Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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: Poems anyone?

Postby paulusnb » Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:28 pm

Superavi

Maybe this page will help with the Catullus. http://polyaplatinlit07-08.wikispaces.com/Catullus+72
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: Poems anyone?

Postby Imber Ranae » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:15 am

Superavi, if you'd like a more in-depth review of the grammar, line-by-line, here's my attempt to explain everything with as literal a translation as possible while keeping it (hopefully) decipherable:

Dicebas quondam solum te nosse Catullum,

"You used to say once that you knew Catullus alone,"

This is pretty straightforward. As Paulusnb pointed out, the imperfect is often best translated as iterative, i.e. "used to do", especially when there are context clues like the word quondam "formerly/once". Though you translated it correctly, for the sake of completeness I'll point out that solum is an adjective agreeing with Catullum, not with te. You can tell this from the masculine case ending, which if it agreed with te would need to be the feminine form solam, since the second person here is obviously Lesbia.

Lesbia, nec prae me velle tenere Iovem.

"Lesbia, and that you did not wish to hold [even] Jove above [lit. before] me."

Lesbia is vocative, of course. Nec "and...not" continues the indirect discourse, so another accusative + infinitive construction is used with te being implied from the line above. Tenere...prae is an idiom comparable to the English one of "holding" someone/thing "above" someone/thing else in worth or regard, though in Latin you don't hold them "above" but "before".

Dilexi tum te non tantum ut vulgus amicam,

"I loved you then not only as the [vulgar] crowd loves a mistress,"

Non tantum means "not only", which is completed in the next line by sed "but". With the ut you need to supply the same verb as is in the correlative clause of the next line, i.e. "ut vulgus amicam [diligit]." Amicam here is literally "a female friend", but the idea is of an amorous companion other than one's wife. Vulgus literally means "flock" or "crowd", and is usually pejorative when used of persons. It's almost a personified collective noun here (with obvious connotations of masculinity), as it "loves" a single "girlfriend" or "mistress". You might even translate it "the common man".

sed pater ut gnatos diligit et generos.

"but as a father loves his sons and sons-in-law."

The position of ut here might have thrown you off, as in prose it would normally come before pater. This is a poetic device that allows certain conjunctions to be postpositive for metrical reasons. You might also have noticed the odd spelling in gnatos : that's simply an archaic spelling of natus "son". Catullus' meaning here is a bit obscure since it must be interpreted through the perspective of traditional Roman society, which being so far removed from us often seems strange. He's contrasting the amor "sexual/romantic passion" that a common Roman man might have for his mistress with the pietas "familial duty" that a Roman pater familias would be expected to have for his sons and sons-in-law; as males they were his legal heirs and as such he had an almost sacrosanct interest in their well-being. By comparing his love to this, Catullus is saying that Lesbia meant far more to him than just some sexual fling.

Nunc te cognovi: quare, etsi impensius uror,

"now I [have come to] know you: [and] for that reason, although I burn more ardently,"

Cognovi, as the perfect of cognoscere "to become acquainted with", implies a sort of realization on Catullus' part of what he now believes is Lesbia's true character. Quare is here a relative adverb, literally meaning "for which reason" (the word can also be interrogative: "for what reason?/why?"). Archaic English has a direct equivalent in "wherefore", but that sounds a bit stodgy. Etsi "although" introduces a concessive clause which, as often, is followed by a clause with tamen "nevertheless" in the next line. Impensius is a comparative adverb, literally "more excessively".

multo mi tamen es vilior et levior.

"nevertheless you are much cheaper and trivial [lit. lighter] to me."

Mi can in poetry be a contraction of mihi, as well as the vocative masc. sing. possessive pronoun. Here it's a dative of reference with the two comparative adjectives. Multo is ablative of degree of difference adding emphasis to the comparatives (literally "by much"). Vilior means "cheaper" or "of less worth"; levior literally means "lighter", but the idea is that he considers her "more trivial" or "less significant".

Qui potis est? inquis. Quod amantem iniuria talis

"How can this be?" you say. Because such an injury...

Qui is actually an adverb here, meaning "how", not the masculine relative pronoun. It's a tricky little homonym, and it shows up occasionally in prose as well as poetry. Potis is an indeclinable adjective that means "able" or "possible", in the sense of "how is it able [to be]?" These first three words are a direct quotation, which you can determine because the verb inquit almost always introduces direct discourse. Quod is causal. Iniuria talis is the subject, and amantem "lover" the direct object of the clause that continues into the next line. Remember that amans can function as a substantive as well as the present participle of amare.

cogit amare magis, sed bene velle minus.

"compels a lover to love more, but to wish well less."

Amare and velle are the two object infinitives depending on cogit. Magis is a comparative adverb that means "more", and minus is one that means "less". I think you confused it with the superlative adverb minime, which can mean "not at all" as well as "least". The idea of "loving more" but "wishing well less" seems contradictory, but I believe Catullus is using the word amare in the sense of feeling jealous passion (cf. uror above), which is of course strongly opposed to the compassionate love that would entail wishing someone well.

All in all, a pretty angry poem.


You used to say once that you knew only Catullus,
Lesbia, and that you did not want to hold even Jupiter above me.
I loved you then not merely as the common man loves a mistress,
but as a father loves his sons and sons-in-law.
Now I have come to know you: and for that reason, although I burn more ardently,
nevertheless you are much less worthy and significant to me.
"How can this be?" you say. Because such an injury
compels a lover to love more, but to wish well less.
Ex mala malo
bono malo uesci
quam ex bona malo
malo malo malo.
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Re: Poems anyone?

Postby Rhodopeius » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:14 pm

This time I thought I'd stipulate for myself that I'd consult another translation only after posting mine. I'll post any discrepancies below.

This excerpt is from Eclogue V. Context: Menalcas and Mopsus take a break from shepherding so Mopsus can try out his new song before he competes with Amyntas. He begins:

Exstinctum Nymphae crudeli funere Daphnim 20
flebant (uos coryli testes et flumina Nymphis),
cum complexa sui corpus miserabile nati
atque deos atque astra uocat crudelia mater.
Non ulli pastos illis egere diebus
frigida, Daphni, boues ad flumina: nulla neque amnem 25
libauit quadrupes, nec graminis attigit herbam.
Daphni, tuom Poenos etiam ingemuisse leones
interitum montesque feri siluaque loquontur.
Daphnis et Armenias curru subiungere tigris
instituit; Daphnis thiasos inducere Bacchi, 30
et foliis lentas intexere mollibus hastas.
Vitis ut arboribus decori est, ut uitibus uuae,
ut gregibus tauri, segetes ut pinguibus aruis,
tu decus omne tuis. Postquam te fata tulerunt,
ipsa Pales agros atque ipse reliquit Apollo. 35
Grandia saepe quibus mandauimus hordea sulcis,
infelix lolium et steriles nascuntur auenae;
pro molli uiola, pro purpureo narcisso
carduos et spinis surgit paliurus acutis.
Spargite humum foliis, inducite fontibus umbras, 40
pastores (mandat fieri sibi talia Daphnis),
et tumulum facite, et tumulo superaddite carmen:
Daphnis ego in siluis hinc usque ad sidera notus
formosi pecoris custos formosior ipse.


The Nymphs were bewailing the cruel death of Daphnis,
(you, hazel-trees and rivers, are witnesses to the Nymphs),
when his mother, hugging the pitiable corpse of her son,
called the gods and the stars cruel. They drove no grazing
cows to the cold rivers during those days, Daphnis; and no
horse drank from stream, nor touched grass of the turf;
Daphnis, the wild mountains and woods say that lions
mourned your death; Daphnis was the first to join Armenian
tigers to a chariot; the first to lead on the revellers of Bacchus;
and the first to plait lingering spears with soft leaves. As the
vine is ornament to trees, grapes to vines, bulls to herds,
crops to rich fields, you are ornament to all of yours.
After the Fates bore you away, Pales and Apollo himself
left the fields. From the ditches into which we often entrusted
lofty barley, unhappy darnel and barren straw were born;
Instead of soft violets and purple narcissus, thistles and
sharp-thorned palurius. Strew leaves upon the earth, shepherds,
spread shade over the springs(for Daphnis demands that these
things be done for him), and make a funeral mound, and set
this poem above it: I Daphnis, known in the woods from
here to the stars, the guardian of a beautiful flock, was more
beautiful myself.
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"Qui sis, non unde natus sis reputa."
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Re: Poems anyone?

Postby Rhodopeius » Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:41 am

Sorry for the hiatus between posting and comments. I have a broken ankle and I've been to the hospital, a wake, and a funeral these past few days.

Exstinctum Nymphae crudeli funere Daphnim 20 chiasmus
flebant (uos coryli testes et flumina Nymphis),
cum complexa sui corpus miserabile nati chiasmus
atque deos atque astra uocat crudelia mater. polysyndeton
Non ulli pastos illis egere diebus
frigida, Daphni, boues ad flumina: nulla neque amnem 25
libauit quadrupes, nec graminis attigit herbam.
Daphni, tuom Poenos etiam ingemuisse leones
interitum montesque feri siluaque loquontur.
Daphnis et Armenias curru subiungere tigris
instituit; Daphnis thiasos inducere Bacchi, 30
et foliis lentas intexere mollibus hastas. synchisis
Vitis ut arboribus decori est, ut uitibus uuae,
ut gregibus tauri, segetes ut pinguibus aruis,
tu decus omne tuis. Postquam te fata tulerunt,
ipsa Pales agros atque ipse reliquit Apollo. 35
Grandia saepe quibus mandauimus hordea sulcis, synchisis
infelix lolium et steriles nascuntur auenae;
pro molli uiola, pro purpureo narcisso
carduos et spinis surgit paliurus acutis.
Spargite humum foliis, inducite fontibus umbras, 40
pastores (mandat fieri sibi talia Daphnis),
et tumulum facite, et tumulo superaddite carmen:
Daphnis ego in siluis hinc usque ad sidera notus
formosi pecoris custos formosior ipse. asyndeton

Lines 20-23 are striking in word order: wide separation between the participle complexa and mater. Corpus miserabile is framed by sui...nati, which I think has a pathetic effect.

To me the whole passage seems very balanced. There seem to be perfect amounts of everything, like caesurae and lines without strong caesurae. Word order, too, seems very balanced: Vitis ut arboribus decori est, ut uitibus uuae, ut gregibus tauri, segetes ut pinguibus aruis, tu decus omne tuis. AB, BA, BA, AB. There are other effects, like the repetition of Daphnis throughout, that give it a very elevated effect, but he really doesn't seem to overdo it.

Thematically, there is the repeated motif of agriculture going sterile and nature turning upside down because of Daphnis' death. Apollo leaves, so perhaps there is no human inspiration for music or song. Pales is also gone, so their fundamental way of life could be disrupted.

Also, I think I should revise my translation of lines 43-44: "I was (am) Daphnis, known from here in the woods to the stars, the guardian of a beautiful flock, more beautiful myself." The omission of esse makes these two lines hard to translate. Originally, I took formosior as the predicate of Daphnis ego. Now I think Ego is the subject and Dapnis...formosior is the predicate. I think it's just a poetic way of saying Ego sum Daphnis, in silvis hinc ad sidera notus, custos formosi pecoris, et formosior ipse. That would seem to make more sense, since it is a tomb inscription. I assume one would want to say "Here lies Daphnis, who was like this," rather than "Daphnis was like this."
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Re: Poems anyone?

Postby Rhodopeius » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:30 pm

I'll now also be posting my selections, among other things, on my blog at http://classicsexercises.blogspace.com.
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Re: Poems anyone?

Postby Rhodopeius » Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:55 pm

Actually, that's classicsexercises.blogspot.com.
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Re: Poems anyone?

Postby paulusnb » Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:01 am

Sorry I have not posted in a while. Life is in the way. I do not, at present, have time to comment on the poems above. I will post a quick and easy one of Martial's to make myself feel better about not keeping up this thread

Martial 10.47

Vitam quae faciant beatiorem,
Iucundissime Martialis, haec sunt:
Res non parta labore, sed relicta;
Non ingratus ager, focus perennis;
Lis numquam, toga rara, mens quieta; 5
Vires ingenuae, salubre corpus;
Prudens simplicitas, pares amici;
Convictus facilis, sine arte mensa;
Nox non ebria, sed soluta curis;
Non tristis torus, et tamen pudicus; 10
Somnus, qui faciat breves tenebras:
Quod sis, esse velis nihilque malis;
Summum nec metuas diem nec optes.

Here is my trans.
These are the things which make life more blessed
, most delightful Martial:
a state not gained by labor, but inherited;
a field not unyielding (ungrateful);
a fire always in the fireplace;
Litigation never, the toga rare, and a quiet mind
Manly strength, and a healthy body;
a sensible simplicity, equal friends;
Easy intimacy, a table without art;
a night not drunk, but free from care;
a bed not sad (the occasional tryst) but pure;
Sleep which makes brief shadows;
Whatever you are, you would wish to be, and nothing else prefer;
Neither should you fear the last day, nor desire it.


I love this poem. The line about a night not drunk but free from care is very nice. I also like the last line, which to me is a response to the Roman stoic line about death. My question is whether Martial is describing this life to comfort himself, or is the comfort the last line which is needed in the face of the fact that one cannot make this life happen? How can one make sure that land has been left to them, for example?









Oh yeah. I stumbled upon this Martial poem on Postumus while looking for another Martial poem. Interesting to compare to Horaces Postume, Postume.

58

Cras te uicturum, cras dicis, Postume, semper:
dic mihi, cras istud, Postume, quando uenit?
Quam longe cras istud! ubi est? aut unde petendum?
Numquid apud Parthos Armeniosque latet?
Iam cras istud habet Priami uel Nestoris annos. 5
Cras istud quanti, dic mihi, possit emi?
Cras uiues? Hodie iam uiuere, Postume, serum est:
ille sapit quisquis, Postume, uixit heri.



Here is an internet translation


Postumus, tomorrow you’ll live, tomorrow you say.

When is it coming, tell me, that tomorrow?

How far off, and where, and how will you find it?

In Armenia, or Parthia, is it concealed then?

Your tomorrow’s as old as Nestor or Priam.

How much would it cost you, tell me, to buy?

Tomorrow? It’s already too late to live today:

He who lived yesterday, Postumus, he is wise.
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: Poems anyone?

Postby Rhodopeius » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:12 pm

Ah, welcome back. Don't worry too much about the thread. I'll post as regularly as I can and if memory serves there were a couple of people who wanted to participate. Maybe now?
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Re: Poems anyone?

Postby paulusnb » Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:19 am

Horace 1.20

XX

Vile potabis modicis Sabinum
cantharis, Graeca quod ego ipse testa
conditum leui, datus in theatro
cum tibi plausus,

care Maecenas eques, ut paterni 5
fluminis ripae simul et iocosa
redderet laudes tibi Vaticani
montis imago.

Caecubum et prelo domitam Caleno
tu bibes uuam; mea nec Falernae 10
temperant uites neque Formiani
pocula colles.

You will drink cheap Sabine (wine) in modest tankards
which I myself stored up in Grecian jars
Given (added to the jar?) when in the theatre you were applauded
Dear Equestrian Maecenas,
so that banks of the paternal river and the merry echo of the Vatican Mt at the same time returned your praises.

You drink the Caecuban grape pressed by a Calenian wine press;
Neither the Falernian vines nor Formian hills flavor my cups.


Nice little poem here hitting on a few key themes. Note Horace's famous moderation. Drink, but don't depend upon the good stuff.

Notice the word picture here. prelo domitam Caleno Domitam is being squeezed by prelo Caleno.

On the surface this poem seems straightforward. But is it? Why Greek jars? Horace will give Maecenas cheep wine in Greek jars but forgo the expensive Italian types. If wine equals poetry here, which is what Horace is really giving Maecenas, then Horace is being ironic and his Greek Jars do not hold cheap wine after all, for Greece is the place where the muses live. Maecenas is the one with access to the cheap stuff, because everyone knows that Latin poetry is second rate.
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Re: Poems anyone?

Postby Rhodopeius » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:23 pm

This is an excerpt I absolutely had to share. It's from Ovid's Ars Amatoria, Book II. My trifling translation is not in verse, though I did try to phrase it in poetic diction to maintain the fun of the passage.

Non formosus erat, sed erat facundus Ulixes,
Et tamen aequoreas torsit amore deas.
A quotiens illum doluit properare Calypso, 125
Remigioque aptas esse negavit aquas!
Haec Troiae casus iterumque iterumque rogabat:
Ille referre aliter saepe solebat idem.
Litore constiterant: illic quoque pulchra Calypso
Exigit Odrysii fata cruenta ducis. 130
Ille levi virga (virgam nam forte tenebat)
Quod rogat, in spisso litore pingit opus.
'Haec' inquit 'Troia est' (muros in litore fecit):
'Hic tibi sit Simois; haec mea castra puta.
Campus erat' (campumque facit), 'quem caede Dolonis 135
Sparsimus, Haemonios dum vigil optat equos.
Illic Sithonii fuerant tentoria Rhesi:
Hac ego sum captis nocte revectus equis.'
Pluraque pingebat, subitus cum Pergama fluctus
Abstulit et Rhesi cum duce castra suo. 140
Tum dea 'quas' inquit 'fidas tibi credis ituro,
Perdiderint undae nomina quanta, vides?'


Not handsome, but clever Ulysses was,
Yet he stole sea goddesses' hearts.
Oh how oft Calypso mourned his departure,
and denied that the waves were fit to sail!
Again and again she begged him tell of Troy's fall:
He was wont to often tell the same tale a different way.
They would stand on the shore: there fair Calypso
The bloody demise of the general Odrysius demanded.
He with a light twig (for by chance one had he with him)
drew in the sluggish sand the work which she requested.
"This," said he, "is Troy" (drawing walls in the sand):
"Imagine that here is Simois; think that here is my camp.
"There was a field," (and a field he made), "that we splashed
with the blood of Dolon, whilst the watchman pined
For Haemonian steeds. There were the tents of Sithonian
Rhesus: on this night I rode back on captured horses."
He went on painting, until a sudden wave stole Pergamum
away with the camp of Rhesi with its own leader.
Then said the goddess,"See you what great names have been
Destroyed by the waves you find so trustworthy?"
Scott Sumrall. http://classicsexercises.blogspot.com

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Re: Poems anyone?

Postby paulusnb » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:45 pm

Rhodopeius wrote:This is an excerpt I absolutely had to share. It's from Ovid's Ars Amatoria, Book II



This is nice. Although I must admit that I love anything with Odysseus in it. He is my favorite literary character. Falstaff is a close second.
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: Poems anyone?

Postby paulusnb » Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:02 am

Poem from Carmina Burana. CXCI. Gretchen's Lament. Still have not had time for Ovid. Again, I am going out of town. But here is a sad poem to ease the soul.

Gretchen's Lament

Tempus instat floridum
Cantus crescit avium
Tellus dat solacium.
Eia, qualia
Sunt amoris gaudia.

Huc usque, me miseram!
Rem bene celaveram,
et amavi callide;
Rea tandem patuit,
Nam venter intumuit,
Partus instat gravidae.

Hinc mater me verberat
Hinc pater improperat,
Ambo tractant aspere.
Sola domi sedeo
Egredi non audeo,
Nec in palam ludere.

Cum foris egredior,
A cunctis inspicior,
Quasi monstrum fuerim.
Cum vident hunc uterum,
Alter pulsat alterum,
Silent dum transierim.

Semper pulsant cubito,
Me designat digito,
Acsi mirum fuerim.
Nutibus me indicant,
Dignam rogo iudicant,
Quod semel peccaverim.


Quid percurram singula?
Ego sum in fabula,
Et in ore omnium.
Hoc dolorem cumulat,
Quod amicus exulat
Propter illud paululum.


Ob patris savitiam
Recessit in Franciam
A finibus ultimis.
Ex eo vim patior,
Iam dolore morior,
Semper sum in lacrimis.

Flowering time threatens,
The Song of birds increases,
The earth gives solace,
Ha! How Excellent are the
Joys of love!

Here and there I am miserable.
I had hidden the thing well,
and I loved secretly;
The thing, however, lies open,
for the stomach swells

Because of this, mother beats me;
Father blames me.
Both handle me harshly.
Alone I sit at home,
not daring to go out
or to play in public.

When I go out,
I am watched by all
As if I were a monster.
When they see this stomach,
One elbows another,
Silent while I pass.

Always they poke one another with elbows,
(Always) they point me out with the finger
As if I were a freakish sight.
They acknowledge me with a nod and
They judge me worthy of the pyre
because I sinned once.


Where can I go by myself?
I am in the conversations,
in the mouth of all.
This compounds my sorrow,
because my lover is exiled
on account of a trifle.

Because of the savagery of my father,
he has fled into France
from the farthest boundaries.
From him I suffer force,
now I die from sorrow,
Always I am in tears.
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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paulusnb
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