Random neuron firing, lame philosophy, literary pontificating, movies, sex, clothes & other femme stuff

Monday, October 27, 2003

Again, trying for "Ozymandias," I end up on Horace and Wyatt
As I was saying a ways back, when I reread Shelley's "Ozymandias" I often experience one or more of the somatic effects (horripilation, globus hystericus, lachrymation, vagotonic innervation, and that weird spear-in-the-tummy feeling) catalogued by Houseman as detrimental to shaving (shaving your legs too, btw.) So I started thinking about the poem and trying to figure out what I liked and thought I would post some random observations. The conversation between Kasey, Jonathan, and Mike about "They Flee From Me" (another poem registered somatically chez Mika) has been such a delight to follow and led me to surf a bunch of Wyatt sites blissfully. Maybe my posting about "Ozymandias" might similarly send someone traveling through Shelley's web demesne. . . .

By the way, I was trying to find out something in my Wyatt-exploring that I never managed to find. In some early 20th c. editions, Wyatt's poem, which I'd been taught was untitled and therefore went for convenience by "They Flee From Me," is given the title "Vixi Puellis Nuper Idoneus" (e.g. see the bartlebized quiller-couch anthology). This is, as we all know, the first line of Horace's Ode 3.26, which (you'll have to forgive my rusty latin) translates something along the lines of "Vixen girls [are] not [so] super, I don't think." Here, if you still need it, is a pdf file containing a precise word-by-word interlinear translation of the whole poem (the Latin rearranged to suit the English). Here is a somewhat more modern one. Actually, Robert Creeley appears to have translated this poem in that anthology that came out a while ago called something like Horace the Odes: New Translations by Contemporary Poets so Horace won't seem quite so totally dead and irrelevant. But I can't find his translation out on the web and don't own the book. The ode falls into the "amatory valedictory" or "putting the penis out to pasture" category. Loosely summarized, it says, "OK, I'm done dressing up for the babes and I'm giving all my sex toys away to Goodwill Industries, but, Venus, couldn't you please just give that bitch Chloe one more really good crack with your uber-whip?"

Anyway I love the Horace poem and I love its relation to the Wyatt poem suggested by the allusive title. My question is: Did Wyatt give "They Flee From Me" the Latin title? Or did Quiller-Couch (doesn't his name sound like some sort of down sofa?)?
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