Nicolas Shump's Reviews > The Odes of Horace

The Odes of Horace by Horace
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Jun 16, 2012

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Read in July, 2000

I think that Horace is best taken in small doses. Trying to read ode after ode became somewhat tedious. Ferry has some good lines, but I don't feel he's a poet in the way that Robert Fitzgerald or Seamus Heaney are. Even Allen Mandelbaum seems to have better skill as a translator of poetry. Some very epigrammatic stuff in Horace. There is a wistfulness, a melancholy in Horace. I suppose it might be a result of the influence of Stoicism or perhaps it is Horace's own temperament. There is a nobility in the sentiment that I admire. There is some sensuality, but Horace is no Ovid. A very masculine poet, there are numerous buddy poems here. I remember reading about the syntax of Horace, how is poems were organized formally. I don't see much of this in Ferry's translation.
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