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4.5 just finished yet ANOTHER book for class baby call me an enlightened scholar I never corrupteda single innocent girl or respectable brideor matron, but wrote only for those who already were foolingaround on the wrong side of the sheetsBesides, if you look at the classics, every poetwrites of love The readers expect it, even demand it.Anacreon writes of venery and wine Sappho, whom all the ladies read, teaches of love.Callimachus confesses to wanton delightsof illicit love Will you exile them, or will you bantheir booksYou know as well as I do, it wasnI never corrupteda single innocent girl or respectable brideor matron, but wrote only for those who already were foolingaround on the wrong side of the sheetsBesides, if you look at the classics, every poetwrites of love The readers expect it, even demand it.Anacreon writes of venery and wine Sappho, whom all the ladies read, teaches of love.Callimachus confesses to wanton delightsof illicit love Will you exile them, or will you bantheir booksYou know as well as I do, it wasn t only the poemthat got you sent out here, but the other business we needn t go into details Epistulae Ex Ponto, 3.3 Tristia,3 You have the choiceof walking away Nobody s forcing you to read this.Do you exclaim how awful this is, how sloppy I agree I urge you to put it aside Drop it,read something with polish and wit I would I ll tell you the truth I don t even revise these thingsbut send them out as they are My reputation You think I still care about thatTristia, 5.1In 8 AD, Ovid was exiled from Rome to Tomis, by the Emperor Augustus His crime A poem, and a mistake a blunderAll of which is pieced together from what he wrote in these works.This volume contains 3 works written by Ovid whilst he was in Exile Tristia Epistulae ex Ponto or The Black Sea Letters IbisThe first two are epistolary poems, the second of which contains poems addressed to, and talking about, individual people The third is a rather strange work, which Wikpiedia informs us is a stream of violent but extremely learned abuse, modeled on a lost poem of the same title by the Greek Alexandrian poet Callimachus.The Ibis attracted a large number of scholia and was widely disseminated and referenced in Renaissance literatureAn English translator noted that a full reference to each of the allusions to be found in this poem would suffice to fill a small volumeThe works have not garnered a lot of praise throughout the centuries, mostly because the works, as Ovid himself acknowledges, contain a large amount of sorrow and lamentation I m sorry, my old friend, that I don t seem to have much range.I wish I could strike other notes from time to time,but this is my life, its condition I am mournful I for one could sympathise with his situation we are both gentle soul s , used to the comforts of life who agree that Romeis the best of all possible places Having said that, he can get a bit repetitive in these works, so Consider yourself warned it won t be fun and games,naughty double entendres, witty conceits,or any of those things I used to do Although there are some flashes of art to be found within the pages, I would only recommend reading these for two reasons 1 To complete Ovid s Oeuvre2 To mine the works for details regarding his exileOtherwise, one will be very likely to give up halfway through.Tristia Homer s talent burdens every poet 1 I m no Homer I never was1.6 The lesson is ancient 3 I wasn t cut outfor any of those serious, sensible public careers.I gave it all up and returned to the Musewhom I had been anyway meeting in surreptitious trysts 4.10strewing his path with flowers 4.2 I was one of those happy youngstersages ago 1 Like old times when you and Iwould talk about life and art on those rainy afternoons5.13 It s life exaggerating art1.10 What kind of world, what kind of life is this 3 Expistulae ex Ponto The world is harshand life is short and sad2.9 But let s not be any gloomier than we have to 3.1 What isuseful than this art that has no use It isn t a mere means but an end in itself 1.5 A man of learning,a patron of arts, a connoisseur of refinement2.9 Your hair must be different now but I rather suppose it feels the same and smellsthe way it did I yearn to touch it, to stroke it again,to kiss it as I used to do 1.4 It s all I live for 1.4all his lifehad reverenced her at the shrine he keeps for her in his heart 3.6 My heart is fulland cannot be restrained 4.1 There isn t a single literary workwithout its risk to the soul to which it presumes to speak,but that doesn t mean poetry ought to be banned 3 I ve been assumingreaders will know who I am Probably some of you do,or think you do that clever naughty fellowI used to be, the one who wrote so much about love.Well, yes, I was But time has changed all thatand will, no doubt, make further revisions Who knows whetherin fifty years or in five hundred fame,which is always fragile, will have deserted me utterly Tristia, 4.10 My books are still on your shelvesTristia, 3.14 Restored to the city of Rome, to lifeTristia, 3 To the other obvious question, the answer is also, No I haven t been whoring around Epistulae Ex Ponto, 1.10 Remove my one blunder, and I am entirely spotless Epistulae Ex Ponto, 4.8 Be circumspect yourself as I should have been Tristia, 1 We re all going to dieTristia, 1 End quote Tristia, 3.1 It s true that these poems are repetitive, locked in a theme of get me out of here At the same time, they capture the obsessive nature of exile, how it blinds one to present surroundings and makes vivid a nostalgia for a different time and a different place Ovid writes of Rome and mentions Tomis only in passing, exaggerating its faults Everything here is repellent, all would be well if I could only return It is amazing that a poet writing 2000 years ago can so clearly capture these feeling It s true that these poems are repetitive, locked in a theme of get me out of here At the same time, they capture the obsessive nature of exile, how it blinds one to present surroundings and makes vivid a nostalgia for a different time and a different place Ovid writes of Rome and mentions Tomis only in passing, exaggerating its faults Everything here is repellent, all would be well if I could only return It is amazing that a poet writing 2000 years ago can so clearly capture these feelings, and how universal these feelings are We all want to be at the center of where we feel our life should be lead, and it can twist the mind to be forced to live away from home Although kind of a one note work I m in exile and I hate it one can hardly blame Ovid for feeling as he does The contemporary translation seems excellent at least the translator footnotes many choices in which he displays the original Latin, and his choices seem to me good at those points I have not looked at it in a parallel edition, still less attempted to dust off my slightlyantiquated than Rome itself Latin vocabulary and read the original and the sense of the poems are sca Although kind of a one note work I m in exile and I hate it one can hardly blame Ovid for feeling as he does The contemporary translation seems excellent at least the translator footnotes many choices in which he displays the original Latin, and his choices seem to me good at those points I have not looked at it in a parallel edition, still less attempted to dust off my slightlyantiquated than Rome itself Latin vocabulary and read the original and the sense of the poems are scanned and rhymed verse is preserved I have never been a serious classics scholar literally little Latin and less Greek but I do enjoy seeing how so many essential aspects of human nature seem to remain largely unchanged over the millennia Ovid was the bad boy of Augustus Rome He lacked Virgil s patriotic mythmaking or Horace s skeptical breadth, but his Latin is said to befluid than that of either of them Ovid s youthful books are about love, common enough among Roman poets, but with a callowness beyond youth one of them instructs women on applying make up After a middle age trying his hand at retelling myths, including the Metamporphoses , August exiled Ovid from Rome for reasons that have not come down to posterity Ovid was the bad boy of Augustus Rome He lacked Virgil s patriotic mythmaking or Horace s skeptical breadth, but his Latin is said to befluid than that of either of them Ovid s youthful books are about love, common enough among Roman poets, but with a callowness beyond youth one of them instructs women on applying make up After a middle age trying his hand at retelling myths, including the Metamporphoses , August exiled Ovid from Rome for reasons that have not come down to posterity but are thought to be related to the sex scandal of the age, which involved the Emperor s daughter If so, it is oneof Augustus hypocrisies, the Emperor having set the tone in that subject If Augustus intent was to wound Ovid in what mattered most to him, he hit his mark this most sociable of poets apparently found living among the Getae unbearable Howerver, Ovid s loneliness inspired his most moving poetry, including this volume, which is a translation of the five books of the Tristia One can question translator A.D Melville s to use rhyme, no doubt to give a sense of the original, but English has nowhere near the number of rhyming words that Ovid had at his disposal Still, this translation captures the bitterness of this poetry, some of it composed of letters to the Emperor, to friends both false and true, and to his wife This is how he started the first book You ll go, my little book I feel no envy Without me to the City where, alas, Your master may not go On hearing of his exile, he tells how his wife fell to the ground A man who lived by language, he is reduced to gestures for communication with the locals, who even dress in the Persian style I m the barbarian no one understands me My Latin speech the stupid Getae mock, Safely, before my face, the will malign me Exile, no doubt, a laughing stock And This health from Getic shores your Ovid sense you, If anyone can send a thing he lacks Bitterness, sad to say, made Ovid s poetryfully human Why was Ovid banished to Tomis Many theories are out there, but no one knows for sure Augustus daughter Julia was banished at about this same time for her over the top promiscuous lifestyle, and we know that Ovid s writings definitely promoted that sort of thing Of course, she took it to the extreme He was even asked by the emperor to clean it up Of course, he refused So did Augustus blame him for his daughter s behavior Was he directly involved as one of her paramours Who knows Wha Why was Ovid banished to Tomis Many theories are out there, but no one knows for sure Augustus daughter Julia was banished at about this same time for her over the top promiscuous lifestyle, and we know that Ovid s writings definitely promoted that sort of thing Of course, she took it to the extreme He was even asked by the emperor to clean it up Of course, he refused So did Augustus blame him for his daughter s behavior Was he directly involved as one of her paramours Who knows What we do know is that Ovid hated Tomis He looked down his nose on the rubes he was now living amongst But they saw him as a celebrity They practically worshipped him, and wanted nothingthan to cater to his every whim Yet he barely tolerated them and ran them down every chance he could in his letters The funny thing is that someone there happened to accidentally read one of his letters where he derides them Up until then they thought he actually liked them Word gets around about how he really feels about them, and they want nothing to do with him after that He then finds out what it really means to be banished The stereotypical Roman was supposed to be stoical, practical, tough, etc These writings are anything but They are about as un Roman as you can get Instead of accepting his fate, and trying to make the best of it, Ovid pleads and grovels to no end He begs his wife, who remained in Rome to better champion his cause, to beseech Augustus for his return Did she I doubt it She was probably glad to be rid of him A pity so much poetic talent came from such a pathetic little man Sly sly Ovid, the master of playing with identity, portraying himself as a person that had as many misfortunes as the stars that lie between the hidden and visible pole Could I travel back in time, I would visit Rome and his exile Tomis, to find out what really happened and then return, keeping my mouth shut as to not destroy the myths surrounding this book. Every word you ve read in this whole book was writtenduring the anxious daysof my journey scribbling lines in mid Adriaticwhile December froze the blood,or after we d passed the twin gulfs of the Isthmusand transferred to another ship,still verse making amid the Aegean s savage clamour a sight, I fancy, that shook the Cyclades.In fact, I m surprised myself that in all that upheavalof spirit and sea inspiration never flagged.How to label such an obsession Shocked stupor Madness No matter byEvery word you ve read in this whole book was writtenduring the anxious daysof my journey scribbling lines in mid Adriaticwhile December froze the blood,or after we d passed the twin gulfs of the Isthmusand transferred to another ship,still verse making amid the Aegean s savage clamour a sight, I fancy, that shook the Cyclades.In fact, I m surprised myself that in all that upheavalof spirit and sea inspiration never flagged.How to label such an obsession Shocked stupor Madness No matter by this one care all cares are relieved.Time and again I was tossed by wintry tempestsand darkly menacing seas time and again the day grew black with storm clouds,torrents of wind lashed rain time and again we shipped water yet my shakyhands still kept writing verses of a sort.Now winds whistle oncethrough the taut rigging,and massy high rears up each hollow wave the very steersman, hands raised high to heaven,his art forgotten, turns to prayer for aid.Wherever I look, there s nothing but death s image death, that my split mind fearsand, fearing, prays for Should I come safe to harbourterror lurks there toohazards on dry landthan from the cruel sea Both men and deep entrap me,sword and wave twin my fear sword, I m afraid, hopes to let my blood for booty,wave wants the title of my death Awayon our left lies a barbarous coast, inured to rapine,stalked every by bloodshed, murder, war the agitation of these wintry waves is nothingto the turbulence in my breast.All thecause for indulgence, generous reader,if these lines fall short as they do of your hopes they were not written, as formerly, in my garden,while I lounged on a favourite day bed, but at sea,in wintry light, rough tossed by filthy weather, spindriftspattering the paper as I write.Rough winter battles me, indignant at my presumptionin ignoring its fierce threats, still scribbling away.Let the storm have its will of the man but let storm and poemreach their end, I pray, each at the same time `Ebook ↡ Tristia. Ex Ponto ⇘ Ovid Publius Ovidius Naso,BCECE , born at Sulmo, studied rhetoric and law at Rome Later he did considerable public service there, and otherwise devoted himself to poetry and to society Famous at first, he offended the emperor Augustus by his Ars Amatoria,and was banished because of this work and some other reason unknown to us, and dwelt in the cold and primitive town of Tomis on the Black Sea He continued writing poetry, a kindly man, leading a temperate life He died in exileOvid s main surviving works are the Metamorphoses,a source of inspiration to artists and poets including Chaucer and Shakespeare the Fasti,a poetic treatment of the Roman year of which Ovid finished only half the As,love poems the Ars Amatoria,not moral but clever and in parts beautiful Heroides,fictitious love letters by legendary women to absent husbands and the dismal works written in exile the Tristia,appeals to persons including his wife and also the emperor and similar Epistulae ex Ponto Poetry came naturally to Ovid, who at his best is lively, graphic and lucidThe Loeb Classical Library edition of Ovid is in six volumes