- Paperback: 112 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st edition (June 15, 2000)
- Language: English, Latin
- ISBN-10: 0374526966
- ISBN-13: 978-0374526962
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Eclogues of Virgil: A Bilingual Edition (English and Latin Edition) 1st Edition
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“Mr. Ferry is a gifted poet and much-admired translator . . . Those to whom the original is a sealed book will enjoy much of its charm through the medium of the author's accomplished translation, while those who, like Shakespeare, have 'small Latin' can experience the additional pleasure of savoring, with Mr. Ferry's help, the musical perfection of Virgil's lines.” ―Bernard Knox, The Washington Times
“Ferry has achieved a high degree of fidelity to what Virgil wrote . . . Simple, luminous clarity.” ―Richard Jenkyns, The New Republic
“Fresh-minted and sparkling . . . Ferry's translation wonderfully preserves the exquisite harmonies of the mode while giving it a vigorous edge of reality.” ―Robert Taylor, The Boston Globe
About the Author
David Ferry, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry for his translation of Gilgamesh, is a poet and translator who has also won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, given by the Academy of American Poets, and the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, given by the Library of Congress. In 2001, he received an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2002 he won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award. Ferry is the Sophie Chantal Hart Professor of English Emeritus at Wellesley College.
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Glenn Shea, from Glenn's Book Notes, at www.bookbarnniantic.com
So that readers of Latin can fully appreciate these ten short poems, Penguin has set Vergil's Latin text on the left page and and Guy Lee's translation on the right page. The translator has essayed to approximate the Latin hexameter by using English Alexandrine meter. Translation is a matter of taste. I am not certain that one approaching these poems from English with no knowledge of Latin will get a sense of "what Vergil was really like" from the translator's rendition, which is nevertheless punctilious. Furthermore, since the poems are not annotated, the words "lucerne" (cytisus) and "sappy vervain" (verbenas. . . pinguis) may send non-Latin readers rushing to a dictionary.
Vergil may be regarded as 'untranslatable' in that one must read the "Eclogues" in Latin to appreciate the beauty of these poems. For example "The very pines,/ the very springs, these very orchards called to you/" is accurate, but it fails to catch Vergil's brilliant combined sibilance, consonance, and alliteration that imitates these sounds of nature themselves: "ipsae te Tityre, pinus/, ipsi te fontes, ipsa haec arbusta vocabant." Nor does "[as ever feeding Hybla bees]/ will often whisper you persuasively to sleep/" capture Virgil's drowsy combination of L's and S's in ". . . saepe levi somnum suadebit inire susurro." But again, one has to read these poems, which are unfortunately sometimes neglected in favour of the "Aeneid," in Latin to appreciate their stunning beauty.
Thanks to Penguin, readers of Latin, if not completely satisfied with the English, can refer to the magnificent original.
Arrived well within promised time (less than 10 mailing days); condition was listed as "like new", and it was as if human hands had never touched it. Cheaper than going to publisher. I would use these guys again in a minute.
I am not always convinced that Amazon's shipping beats that of publishers, but the speed, convenience and condition of the product I have received the last several times makes Amazon well worthwhile.
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Having said that, and having (re-)read that, I find myself commenting on the other...Read more