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- Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine

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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
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Harold Rhenisch <[log in to unmask]>
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Fri, 23 Jan 1998 12:17:49 -0800
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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
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Well, Pound preferred Arthur Golding's Ovid, and it's worth a look
just for that.
 
Of shapes transformde to bodies straunge, I purpose to entreate,
Ye gods vouchsafe (for you are they ywrought this wondrous feate)
To further is mine enterprise. And from the wrold begunne,
Graunt that my verse may to my time, his course directly runne.
Before the Sea and Lande were made, and Heaven that all doth hide,
In all the worlde one onely face of nature did abide,
Which Chaos hight, a huge rude heape, and nothing else but even
A heavie lump and clottred clod of seedes togither driven,
Of things at strife among themselves, for want of order due.
No sunne as yet with  lightsome beames the shapelesse world did view.
No moone in growing did repayre hir hornes with borowed light.
 
Compare that to Humphries'
 
My intention is to tell of bodies changed
To different forms; the gods, who made the changes,
will help me --or I hope so--  with a poem
That runs from the world's beginning to our own days.
Before the ocean was, or earth, or heaven,
Nature was all alike, a shapelessness,
Chaos, so-called, all rude and lumpy matter,
Nothing but bulk, inert, in whose confusion
Discordant atoms warred: there was no sun
To light the universe; there was no moon
With slender silver crescents filling slowly...
 
Of course, Humphries hadn't done his when Pound made his choice.
Golding is musical and leisurely. Humphries speeds along. I don't
think Pound was interested in getting the Latin right, mind you, but
in translating, and in music.
 
--Harold Rhenisch
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