Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Rik George writes

Love Weariness
(Horace, Carmina IV, i “Intermissa, Venus, diu...”)

Love gods in every pantheon, 

have done! Spare me further amours! 
I’m not the man I used to be 
when Lou’s love ruled me. Have done, I plead! 
I’m crowding sixty. Bother the young. 
They’ve the constitution for love, 
the will to waltz all night with lust, 
the strength to woo and win and lose. 
I’m beyond both men and women. 
Leave me to my television and crackers. 
But why, when Matt Damon visits Oprah, 
does my breath come faster, imagining 
I watch from poolside as he plunges, 
a golden arrow, into blue water?

--Emilia Javanica  

1 comment:

  1. In the 1st century Marcus Fabius Quintilianus regarded the "Carmina" (Odes) that Quintus Horatius Flaccus ("Horace") published in 23 BCE to be almost the only Latin lyrics worth reading: "He can be lofty sometimes, yet he is also full of charm and grace, versatile in his figures, and felicitously daring in his choice of words." Here is John Conington's translation of the ode that Rik imitated:
    Yet again thou wak'st the flame
    That long had slumber'd! Spare me, Venus, spare!
    Trust me, I am not the same
    As in the reign of Cinara, kind and fair.
    Cease thy softening spells to prove
    On this old heart, by fifty years made hard,
    Cruel Mother of sweet Love!
    Haste, where gay youth solicits thy regard.
    With thy purple cygnets fly
    To Paullus' door, a seasonable guest;
    There within hold revelry,
    There light thy flame in that congenial breast.
    He, with birth and beauty graced,
    The trembling client's champion, ne'er tongue-tied,
    Master of each manly taste,
    Shall bear thy conquering banners far and wide.
    Let him smile in triumph gay,
    True heart, victorious over lavish hand,
    By the Alban lake that day
    'Neath citron roof all marble shalt thou stand:
    Incense there and fragrant spice
    With odorous fumes thy nostrils shall salute;
    Blended notes thine ear entice,
    The lyre, the pipe, the Berecyntine flute:
    Graceful youths and maidens bright
    Shall twice a day thy tuneful praise resound,
    While their feet, so fair and white,
    In Salian measure three times beat the ground.
    I can relish love no more,
    Nor flattering hopes that tell me hearts are true,
    Nor the revel's loud uproar,
    Nor fresh-wreathed flowerets, bathed in vernal dew.
    Ah! but why, my Ligurine,
    Steal trickling tear-drops down my wasted cheek?
    Wherefore halts this tongue of mine,
    So eloquent once, so faltering now and weak?
    Now I hold you in my chain,
    And clasp you close, all in a nightly dream;
    Now, still dreaming, o'er the plain
    I chase you; now, ah cruel! down the stream.

    In 1998 Matt Damon was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for "Good Will Hunting" and won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for the same film. His co-star Minnie Driver was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, and they began dating. However, when he appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" soon after he announced that he was single. Minnie responded, "It’s unfortunate that Matt went on Oprah. It seemed like a good forum for him to announce to the world that we were no longer together, which I found fantastically inappropriate. Of course, he was busy declaring his love for me on David Letterman a month previously.”


Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?