Elegiac couplets

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TheinenGH
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Elegiac couplets

Post by TheinenGH » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:05 am

Hello guys,
I want your opinion on these elegiac couplets that I just composed. I want to know if I did the scans correctly and if the grammar is correct (I tried to do something very simple to begin with). I also want your opinion on how they sound and yours suggestions.

Lūna suprā nūbēs in caelō pallida surgit;
Magnā dē perulā lūmina blanda pluunt.
Fūnebris est nox et sōlum phantasmata Somnī
Obscūrā in viā eunt sub lacrimās nitidās.

mwh
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Re: Elegiac couplets

Post by mwh » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:37 pm

A very promising attempt.

First line is nice, but supra has heavy first syllable (it’s really supera, so the lengthening is compensatory). Try super?
2nd is hard to understand. And what’s perula? If a diminutive of pera (a loanword from Gk. πηρα) it doesn’t scan and with magna is kinda contradictory.
3. The rhythm is bad (et at caesura), and solum is awkward.
4. in via eunt is an extremely harsh elision.

TheinenGH
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Re: Elegiac couplets

Post by TheinenGH » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:33 pm

mwh wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:37 pm
A very promising attempt.

First line is nice, but supra has heavy first syllable (it’s really supera, so the lengthening is compensatory). Try super?
2nd is hard to understand. And what’s perula? If a diminutive of pera (a loanword from Gk. πηρα) it doesn’t scan and with magna is kinda contradictory.
3. The rhythm is bad (et at caesura), and solum is awkward.
4. in via eunt is an extremely harsh elision.
Uhmm, interesting...
1. Seeing now, 'super' might fit perfeclty.
2. Last time I checked 'perula' could be used as pearl(??). I will check again, but I'm gonna probably change this line.
3. Why do you say "awkward" ? Just for curiosity. Thanks for the reminder on the "et" at caesura.
4. I'm also gonna fix this line, but I have to admit those pentameters are harder than I thought.

Thank you, btw.

:D

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bedwere
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Re: Elegiac couplets

Post by bedwere » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:43 pm

Wikipedia says that pearl comes through the French from perna. Pearl is margarita.

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jeidsath
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Re: Elegiac couplets

Post by jeidsath » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:27 pm

Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

TheinenGH
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Re: Elegiac couplets

Post by TheinenGH » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:31 am

bedwere wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:43 pm
Wikipedia says that pearl comes through the French from perna. Pearl is margarita.
Margarita? Well, very different from perula.
I used wiktionary. It indicates 'margarita' but gives 'perula' as a synonym, but only for medieval latin.

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Re: Elegiac couplets

Post by bedwere » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:12 am

See also pirula in Forcellini. He seems to agree with the source Joel brought forth. The i/e would be short, but still...

mwh
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Re: Elegiac couplets

Post by mwh » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:59 am

The take-away on this particular point: You should not have used perula to mean a pearl.
See the entry in the Oxford Latin Dictionary, which it looks as if you should make more use of.

More substantively, your idiosyncratic imagery (e.g. lumina blanda pluunt, which admittedly sounds lovely) is fuzzier and more impressionistic than Latin tends to be, though it could be effective if your meaning were clearer. I suggest you thoroughly immerse yourself in Latin elegiacs, rather than relying on wiktionary. And do you know Wilkinson’s Golden Latin Artistry, a very instructive book? If you don’t want classical models, you should decide on some other style and period. Free composition in Latin rarely works unless it’s modeled on something.

TheinenGH
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Re: Elegiac couplets

Post by TheinenGH » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:56 pm

mwh wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:59 am
The take-away on this particular point: You should not have used perula to mean a pearl.
See the entry in the Oxford Latin Dictionary, which it looks as if you should make more use of.

More substantively, your idiosyncratic imagery (e.g. lumina blanda pluunt, which admittedly sounds lovely) is fuzzier and more impressionistic than Latin tends to be, though it could be effective if your meaning were clearer. I suggest you thoroughly immerse yourself in Latin elegiacs, rather than relying on wiktionary. And do you know Wilkinson’s Golden Latin Artistry, a very instructive book? If you don’t want classical models, you should decide on some other style and period. Free composition in Latin rarely works unless it’s modeled on something.
I see.
Thanks for the suggestions. :)

TheinenGH
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Re: Elegiac couplets

Post by TheinenGH » Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:03 pm

I did some changes with yours tips and now I'm mostly focused on the metric and rhythm than on the content itself, but I only got this:

Lūna, super nūbēs, in Caelō pallida surgit
Et Lūx fulgida eius trīste crepusculum agit.

:D

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Re: Elegiac couplets

Post by mwh » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:12 pm

The hexameter is excellent, but cancel the commas.

The pentameter is not good. The worst of it is eius, with bad stress and bad meter and anyway it’s too prosaic a word for this kind of verse. Did you not think of ending the first half with fulgida lux (preceded by e.g. et nunc, or iam iam)? The second half is rather ugly too.

You’ve evidently mastered the basic metrical rules, but you need to develop a better feel for how elegiacs actually work. To that end, I suggest you quit fiddling with this little poem of yours and really familiarize yourself with Latin elegiac versification, by doing two things in tandem: read Wilkinson, and read lots of elegiacs. In addition, a very methodical composition book you might find preliminarily useful is A Guide to Latin Meter and Verse Composition by David J. Califf (accessible on Google books), though personally I don’t much care for its approach and it’s no substitute for soaking yourself in the genuine article.

TheinenGH
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Re: Elegiac couplets

Post by TheinenGH » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:21 am

Ok, thank you. I'm happy everything is okay with the hexameter, but those pentameters are just so... :x
I will check on the books you recommended and I'm gonna look out for the elegiacs too. Do you have any poet in mind you think I should start from?

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