Sunday, May 27, 2012

Writing oneself into difficulty

Near the conclusion of Tristia 2, Ovid laments at some length his exile at the command of Augustus. In addition to saying, essentially, "why me?" he mentions his Metamorphoses along with the Fasti as poems deserving of honor, not banishment:
And I also sang bodies changed to new forms,
though my efforts lacked the final touch.
If only you might calm your anger for a while
and order some of it read while you’re at leisure,
a few lines, where having started from the world’s
first origin, I bring the work, Caesar, to your times!
You’ll see how much you yourself have inspired my spirit,
how in song my mind favours you, and yours.  555 ff


  1. Without hope, I think. And fully appreciative of the irony of trying to get Power to read.