7 oct. 2003

I.2a

Another translation from Homer (or Virgil). This time we begin with the contemporary translation, which, like 1c, is pared-down in style:

"And then the dead flowed--crowds from below,
Brides, virgin boys, old men tried in hardship,
Little girls hurt,
Slain soldiers, the wounded armed--
All clamoring--
My blood paled."

Is it the same translator as 1c? It is awfully close. For me, the effect is too staccato: I think there has to be more of a metrical constant. B+

2b

The same passage translated by 18th century poet. Dryden or Pope translating Virgil or Homer. The language is more florid:

"Fair pensive youths, and soft enamour'd maids;
And withered elders, pale and wrinkled shades;
Ghastly with wounds the form of warriors slain
Stalk'd with majestic port, a martial train."

This is superb translation by 18th century standards. Redundant expansiveness can be wonderful: A

2c

A blank verse translation of the same passage. A plainer, less ornamental, and quite serviceable style. Early twentieth century? "Clad / in bloody armor" is more vivid than "the wounded armed" or "ghastly with wounds." The blank verse is rhythmically varied yet forceful, and works well. A-