Monday, March 12, 2007

A Brief Outline of Horace, Odes 2

2.1: For Pollio; civil wars; Horace ['H.' hereafter] prefers to sing of lighter subjects.

2.2: For Crispus Sallustius; moral poem; vanity of riches and supremacy of virtue.

2.3: For Delius; Golden Mean; enjoy life; death the great equalizer.

2.4: For Xanthus, in love with a slave girl; no need to be ashamed; mythological exempla; don't worry--H. not interested in the girl.

2.5: No addressee named, but the addressee interested in girl still too young for love; be patient; give it time.

2.6: For Septimius; bury me at Tibur; if that is not possible, then at Tarentum; praise of country/rural life.

2.7: For Pompeius; homecoming poem; had fought against Octavian; H. saved by Mercury at Battle of Phillipi.

2.8: For Barine, deceitful temptress of men.

2.9: For Volgius; it is not always winter; give up desiring your lost lover Mystes; sing instead of the victories of Augustus.

2.10: For Licinius; praise of the Golden Mean.

2.11:For Quinctius; time is short; enjoy the pleasures of leisure and wine while you can.

2.12: For Maecenas; war-themes not fit for lyre; they are better for prose histories; H. will sing love songs of Licymnia, who is better than all riches.

2.13: Addressed to tree that almost killed him; music in the Underworld.

2.14: For Postumus; death comes for everyone; your heir will get your possessions.

2.15: No addressee; private wealth is taking over everything against ancient custom instead of making things for public enjoyment.

2.16: For Pompeius Grosphus; peace of mind can't be found in war or bought with riches; Grosphus is rich, but H. has received a modest farm.

2.17: For Maecenas; we're best friends; we've both been saved from death; it will come eventually, but for now we should be grateful we've survived.

2.18: No addressee; H. is satisfied with his modest estate; on the other hand, the rich are greedy; but death will come for rich and poor alike.

2.19: Hymn to Bacchus; it is right to sing to him; he is powerful over many things, and was even able to go to the Underworld and escape unharmed.

2.20: For Maecenas; H. will not die, but his poetry will give him immortality; already he is turning into a swan; so, though he dies, he will not die, and his funeral will be corpseless, for 'the swan has flown' (West).

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