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The Complete Odes and Epodes: with the Centennial Hymn (Penguin Classics) Paperback – July 28, 1983
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edition of Horace's THE COMPLETE ODES AND EPODES,
and the "Secular Hymn" -- "Translated with an Introduction
and Notes by David West."]
It is always wise, if funds permit, to purchase more
than one edition (translation) of some of these classic
works. To read several translations that are well done
is like experiencing the same piece of classical music
so well interpreted but with different style, flair, and
felicity by different orchestras and conductors.
The Oxford World's Classics series are excellent for
their formatting, the scholarship, and the wonderful
Explanatory Notes at the back which give such helpful
context and understanding.
You know that you are in the company of an interesting
translator (as well as the company of Horace, the poet,
himself) when you read something like this in the
"Those who know Horace well, find that of all dead
writers there is none who is a closer friend, who speaks
more usefully in easy and in difficult times, and none
whom they would more happily sit down to drink with.
* * * We have seen glimpses of [Horace's] humour and
studied his tactical deftness as a client poet. His
poetry is steeped also in the affairs of the day. He
is interested in those he addresses and sensitive and
affectionate towards his friends. He has an eye for
metaphor and a taste for the surreal. * * * The sound
is unique, setting against elaborate, fixed metres the
music of powerful speech.Read more ›
West in his Oxford World's Classic gives better annotation than most (the Penguin or Modern Library edition), but still could stand to do a lot more. One suspects he wants people to buy his expanded editions of the Odes.
The translations, as poetry, will not knock you off your feet, but they do better than the looser Michie versions at letting you know what Horace more or less wrote. (I find Michie's unrhymed versions very fine as poetry, but the rhymed ones are too glib to bear.) And West's aren't quite as soporific as Shepard's versions in Penguin.
Basically, it seems, I need to learn Latin. And if any of you eager reviewers knows a good English-language commentary on the Odes, don't keep it a secret.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Can't wait to read this. Easy to understand and the translation appears to be true to original text. Amazing the truth the writers from past ages have.Published 4 days ago by Robin Gough-OBrien
Read this to prepare for your next local Italian restaurant visit!Published 11 months ago by Philip C Wells
Of the available translations, West's is the closest to Horace in accuracy of meaning. The Introduction and notes are great (some of the notes are a little sparse). Read morePublished on July 15, 2013 by toronto
It is unfortunate Horace is not read as much in English as are translations of Homer or Vergil, or Beowulf for that matter. Read morePublished on May 20, 2013 by Plotinus
Enjoyed this book, it was not too difficult to read, it is an excellent copy. I would recommend this book to everyone.Published on February 9, 2013 by Patrick Mayfield
This item was delivered on time and just as it stated it would be. Very good book very informative. Would recommend to a friend.Published on December 26, 2012 by Deborah Freese
Long beloved for his compassion, his exquisite music, his own gentle life, the often-translated Horace is most beautifully given to us again by David West. Read morePublished on May 16, 2011 by Owl