Sunday, September 05, 2004

Another change

I've made the poll more prominent and expect some votes ASAP.

With official business out of the way, I'd like simply to say that reading Late Antique Latin poetry is hell. The syntax stretches the limits of my Latin (or as Eric corrected me the other day, 'it stretches the limits of Latin') and the changes in meter in Paulinus 10 are beginning to give me a nervous tick. He moves from elegiac couplets to Iambic strophes, then alters the character of iambic lines in ways unfamiliar to me so that I wonder if I'm even scanning it correctly, and then I see he picks up with the hexameter about a hundred lines in. It's a good thing he announces early what his meters will be, and really, that's the most impressive part of the poem:

Such things, however, must be given their own place, and driven by the weightier sound of the avenging heroic (viz. hexameter). In the meantime the lighter iambic (iambic strophe) runs ahead for a short while bearing back borrowed words by a different foot. Now elegiac (couplets) wish you well, and the greeting given, as they've made the start and step for the other (metres), they're silent.
Packed in those few lines is battle imagery, and a sort of program of the events to come. I greet you in elegiacs, answer you in iambics, and fight you in epic. I just wish it was comprehensible.

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