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The Complete Odes and Epodes

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  166 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Horace (65-8 bc) was one of the greatest poets of the Golden or Augustan age of Latin literature, a master of precision and irony who brilliantly transformed early Greek iambic and lyric poetry into sophisticated Latin verse of outstanding beauty. Offering allusive and exquisitely crafted insights into the brief joys of the present and the uncertain nature of the future, h ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 28th 1983 by Penguin Classics
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Some were pastoral, some dealt with the gods, others were about war or in praise of mighty Augustus or Horace's BFF Maecenas. For the most part the translation was fine but twice he scared me by using "spic and span" and "shanghai'd", luckily, he didn't go in that direction again...
Evan Leach
This book contains both the Odes and Epodes of Horace, written between about 30 and 13 b.c. 17 short poems make up the Epodes, which were modeled off of the poems of Archilochus. Topics include war (including some very good poems touching on the civil wars and the Roman victory at Actium), love, and abuse. The Epodes are proto-Augustan in the sense that they seek to glorify the Roman state and Roman ideals, but they avoid monotonously singing the praises of Fearless Leader Octavian (thankfully). ...more
Sep 01, 2010 Jesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Horace was the Pindar of the Augustan Age and perhaps willingly, but he sort of had to be if he wanted to compose poetry, and so like Shostakovich, what appears as celebration ("The Centennial Hymn") is rather to be suspected as bitter irony. Due to the fact that the irony in many of these poems is concealed about as well as an Andy Kaufman stand-up, there are many dark and obscure references, but those that shine through give a glimpse into an exceeding mastery of language and nuance. In additi ...more
Dec 09, 2014 Heidi'sbooks rated it it was ok
I read 22 selections of Horace's Odes from this book to discuss with my online bookclub.
Gary Inbinder
Apr 10, 2016 Gary Inbinder rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend Horace's haunting Carpe Diem poems, and W.G. Shepherd's elegant translations do them justice. My favorite? Ode 1.4, Solvitur acris hiems. These lines in particular:

Pallid death kicks impartially at the doors
of hovels and mansions. O happy Sestius,*
the brief sum of life invalidates long-term hopes.

*Lucius Sestius, appointed Consul by Augustus in 23 B.C.
Evelyn Eve
As I read this, I could see an open womb for Christianity to drive its way right into Roman culture. Art is usually a good indicator of culture, so if that holds true, this work is especially revealing.

Gone it seemed were the days of the proud pagan, and instead in the works of Horace I could see a guilt-ridden and softer culture that waited (and prayed) for the gods to have mercy and enact vengeance on others. A prototype of the New Testament God could be seen in this version of Jupiter/Juno,
May 14, 2014 P. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who does not love Horace?

I just pulled the portable Whitman off the shelf and found an old bookmark for 'Give me the Splendid, Silent Sun' which begins 'Give me etc of course, then 'with all his beams full-dazzling./Give me juicy autumnal fruit ripe and red from the orchard' etc. Not nearly as elegant and robust as Horace but there is something there. Isn't there? Maybe it's the sense of command.
Francis Thompson
First time I have ever read Horace. I was absolutely riveted all the way through! And I grew up despising poetry of any kind. Long may Horace be read.
Jul 20, 2014 Zelda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Stunningly beautiful. Believe the hype.
Christopher Rush
May 20, 2012 Christopher Rush rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's great to have all of Horace in one collection, even if we are dependent upon David West's translation discretion (which is not exercised much during the epodes but seems to come in during the odes). At times, West's translation seems rather odd, as if he is neither trying to get the most out of Horace's poems nor trying to be as literal to Horace's language as possible within the not-as-rigid-as-most-foreign-language-learned-people-seem-to-think-it-is-confines of English. I'm no expert on e ...more
Johannes Bertus
Mar 22, 2016 Johannes Bertus rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When your attempts to force poetry into its original metre destroys all lyricism and even makes much of it impossible to understand, you have to ask yourself if your translation really serves any purpose at all.
John Poor
Mar 15, 2016 John Poor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More crass than you'd expect from a writer living in 89 B.C.
M. Milner
Dec 26, 2013 M. Milner rated it it was ok
Shelves: ancient-fictions
Maybe it's the translation, maybe it's just me but I found this collection of Horace's poetry really dry. Give me Juvenal any day.
Dec 29, 2011 Algernon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
W.G. Shepherd's translation is good, but found the notes a little skimpy.
Oct 06, 2013 Poorj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More crass than you'd expect from a writer living in 89 B.C.
Jan 03, 2016 Elizabeth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: whitman
Read for ENVS 217 (Env. Hum.) It was ok...
Cassandra Kay Silva
So very beautiful. An absolute lyrical delight.
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  • Idylls
  • The Georgics
  • The Poems
  • Greek Lyric Poetry
  • The Odes of Pindar
  • Six Tragedies (Oxford World's Classics)
  • The Sixteen Satires
  • Epigrams
  • Heroides
  • Pharsalia: The Civil War
  • Greek Lyrics
  • Ion
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Comedies
  • Frogs and Other Plays
  • The Rope and Other Plays
  • Selected Letters
  • Guide to Greece: Central Greece (Guide to Greece, #1)
Quintus Horatius Flaccus (December 8, 65 BC – November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.

Born in the small town of Venusia in the border region between Apulia and Lucania (Basilicata), Horace was the son of a freed slave, who owned a small farm in Venusia, and later moved to Rome to work as a coactor (a middleman
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