last moon

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ars Poetica

The Ars Poetica of Horace is incredibly pungent and present even though more than 2000 years have passed since the great Latin poet wrote this work, also known as the Epistle to Piso . The work attracted the attention of Giacomo Leopardi who made i , in 1811 , a fine octave transposition in rhyme.
Here are some pearls in all faithful to the original that inspired them .
" If you want to deserve altars or temples / wait at least nine years, dear brother / before to publish your poems/and work on them as blacksmith does to make the iron shape!!! "
" Meanwhile, everyone is kindly asked to be short  / and either delight or to be useful in his rhymes! "
" But if you are in  search of  honor and praise / writing four verses, oh Piso  / show them
to your  parents or to a wise and good censor ;/ keep them locked up for a long time / for if a man has once ever escaped/  he's not  coming back never indeed ! "
" We can tolerate mediocrity in anything ;/ but not in  poetry: thus in honey / 
choosey mouths do not like   / a bitter almond  inside . / The best would be to write on prose / if a versifier  is just too cruel / as the football player leaves balloon and balls / and  abandon the disc who is not too strong  ! "
Let us meditate on these verses together, all of us who want to be poets !


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