Saturday 19 December 2009

read me from Horace


It's winter-time in the Carpathians and the Euxine
and hoary is the Danube as during the great deluge
and my life's age drifts towards the north.
Read me from Horace time and time again
the poem about Thaliarch, with hearths
wherein woods weep - with old, old wines
turned into amber oil, in flasks.
And I will listen to you softly, ever so softly
while time comes calmly and goes on beyond.

Al. Andriţoiu
Read Me from Horace
tr. Dan Duţescu)



Look how the snow lies deep on glittering
Soracte. White woods groan and protestingly
Let fall their branch-loads. Bitter frost has
Paralysed rivers: the ice is solid.

Unfreeze the cold! Pile plenty of logs in the
Fireplace! And you, dear friend Thaliarcus, come,
Bring out the Sabine wine-jar four years
Old and be generous. Let the good gods

Take care of all else. Later, as soon as they've
Calmed down this contestation of winds upon
Churned seas, the old ash-trees can rest in
peace and the cypresses stand unshaken.

Try not to guess what lies in the future, but
As Fortune deals days enter them into your
Life's book as windfalls, credit items,
Gratefully. Now that you're young, and peevish

Grey hairs are still far distant, attend to the
Dance-floor, the heart's sweet business; for now is the
Right time for midnight assignations,
Whispers and murmurs in Rome's piazzas

And fields, and soft, low laughter that gives away
The girl who plays love's games in a hiding-place -
Off comes a ring coaxed down an arm or
Pulled from a faintly resisting finger.

Horace (To Thaliarchus)



  1. Grey hairs are still far distant, attend to the
    Dance-floor, the heart's sweet business; for now is the
    Right time for midnight assignations,

    Once there was a time when that was true for me. How lovely to read these words and remember.

    Your photography with these stanzas is beyond exquisite...

  2. frumoase! cu stare!
    imi place in mod deosebit penultima.foarte bine realizata,trepied?film?

  3. hi roxana.. lovely to see you nose to nose.. :p

    i was gazing at the flame of the logs in the fire place in the Irish Pub..
    feeling the very existence of myself as I got closer toward the warmth..

  4. Et voilà...! Un post, une page, un article, quelques mots, photos... je sais pas comment il faut dire... de toute beauté !
    Alors, j'ai vu... et je reviendrai belle Roxana !
    Merde ! Y a pas à dire ! Tes "pages" me filent un sacré coup au moral ! ! !...:-))) C'est trop ! Tu es vraiment "top" dans ce domaine ! Et moi qui m'escrime à essayer de pondre des trucs presque intelligent !...;-) tu parles Charles !

    Je t'adore ! Tu es si belle Roxana !... Smack smack smack ! ! !
    A bientôt...

  5. The beautiful hands put me in mind of Neruda.

  6. Such clarity yet softness in that first pic. The third pic delights me no end, I may well have to make it my screen background (right now it's your sun reflection in the water that's my background!)

  7. Spectaculoase, pline de mister, deosebite ultimele imagini. La multi ani, Roxi!

  8. Magnifique Roxana ! J'adore cette photographie où on voit la maisonnette sous la neige... ! C'est presque iréel !
    Ta série de photo est à couper le souffle !...
    Mais il se fait tard... Je n'ai pas tout lu et j'ai le cerveau qui se ramollit !...:-)))

    Bises belle Roxana !
    A bientôt !

  9. Diva! supplicem exaudi!

  10. Hello Roxana,

    I've been lurking about for quite a while so thought it about time to introduce myself.

    I find your photography extremely evocative, almost mystical.

    This is some of the most original photography I have seen. Seems more like painting with light.

    I love the way it flaunts the conventional way of approaching the art.

    I got here thru Owen's blog and will certainly keep coming back.

  11. the continuing narrative of your inner/outter life unfolds within me
    like a series of miraculous faerie tales...the convergence of your images with your impeccable choice of poetry lifts me into ineffably.. rarified realms of such ethereal dreamstates i never wish to leave them.......

  12. Bonsoir Roxana,
    Oui tes photos sont à couper le souffle (je reprends les mots de Jeff)...
    J'aime beaucoup les branches et le petites gouttes lumineuses comme des perles cristallines :)
    Je m'excuse de te visiter si rarement ces derniers temps, mes yeux me jouent de vilains tours et regarder l'écran m'est de plus en plus pénible...
    Bises et à bientôt, je reviendrai lorsque cela ira mieux et me régalerai à nouveau de toutes les beautés que tu nous offres.

  13. I tink this is one of your best portraits --- intimate and thoughtful, attentive and warm ... and I love the third picture, the pure still moment just before the drops shiver to the ground ....

    The Horace poem is good for this time of year, and that's a great translation....

  14. Lydia, thank you so much, i'm glad you liked the poem, it's interesting that we still can identify so well with that atmosphere, no? though everything about it is so specifically Latin that i wonder every time i read it... it is really a poem _teaching_ how one should enjoy life...

    multumesc, I.B.! nu, sunt din mana facute, am scazut eu expunerea cand le-am prelucrat. si pe film, cred ca era un Superia, dar nu mai stiu cat.

  15. quick question: why is it "read me from Horace" rather than "read to me from Horace"?

  16. Peter, you who think you know me so well, sorry to disappoint you, it's not me, neither my nose nor my hand etc :-P

    Jeff :-)
    tout d'abord, je te remercie pour tes compliments, mais ce n'est pas moi dans la photo - pourtant, je te donne raison, elle est belle :-)
    et aussi ma photo preferee est ici celle dont tu parles, la maisonette, tu vois, on est parfois sur la meme longueur d'onde :-P
    (je vois que tu es encore dans l'etape de la modestie affichee, pourtant je vois que tes postes ont egalement une structure et une histoire tres bien reflechies, ce n'est pas du tout l'amalgame dont tu parles ailleurs :-)

    bises, Jeff l'Exuberant :-P

  17. merc, yes, i can see why...

    Inga, thank you!

    Sorlil, oh, and i am delighted to hear that
    but are they big enough to make a wallpaper? if not, i can always send you the bigger size version...

  18. Multumesc Gabi, sa ne vedem cu bine la anul :-)

    Robert, in the mood for Baudelaire these last days of the year? i can't say it's not a very good choice :-)

    Stickup Artist, what a surprise! thank you, i am most touched by your comment and very glad to know you! yes, painting with light, it's how i think of photography myself, and i am happy this wish (or ideal) of mine was visible to you... i have already visited your site and will go back for commenting. so, see you soon!

  19. sutton! i am so happy to read you here again, and to know you are still in these "rarified realms" which bring us close...

    oh K'line, pas besoin de t'excuser, vraiment, ne t'en fais pas, c'est moi qui dois s'excuser car je n'ai pas eu le temps de te repondre sur le blog de Jeff, j'ai lu des details sur ce probleme medical que je ne connaissais pas, je suis desolee d'entendre ca - j'espere que tout reviendra a normal le plus vite possible, je pense a toi et je te serre tres tres fort dans mes bras!
    bises, de tout coeur!

    James, i will tell her that, she won't believe it though (it took me a great deal to talk her into it, i haven't doubted the result for one moment :-)
    you mean the Horace ode? i don't know who made the translation, it was not easy to find it on google :-)
    the Romanian stanza is the last one from a longer poem, it's a minor poet i had't even heard of until reading this Anthology. but being published during the communist regime, they had to include a number of poets and poems for ideological reasons, otherwise the book wouldn't have been approved. and yet one can still find some gems like this one, i really like this stanza.

  20. hmm, Michael, i don't know why you should address this question to me, whose command of English is so limited, and you know that :-)
    why, is there a problem with that? i would have thought either versions are grammatical, but for melodic reasons the "read to me from Horace" one doesn't flow easily (to me, anyway).
    i can only say Dan Dutescu is one of the greatest translators we've had (for English), i really marvel at his accomplishments. i found this poem in his Anthology of Romanian Poetry, there are not so many available in English.
    (he died soon after the revolution, i think)

  21. "read me from Horace" does not mean the same as "read to me from Horace." the latter ("read to me") is an imperative, telling someone to read excerpts from Horace so that i may sit and listen. the former would also be an imperative but telling the person something like "read the poem entitled 'Me' from Horace." if the original intention is to ask someone to read Horace out loud to me then "read me from Horace" is grammatically incorrect and missing the "to" and hence simply sounds and looks like a typographical error.

    (end of lesson)

  22. i don't think it's a typo because it is both in the title and the line - so i don't know, then he must have made a mistake? you mean one can say "write me please" but not "read me from this book, please"?
    i had no idea :-)
    but are you sure there are no exceptions to this rule? i did a quick search now and i found other examples from trustworthy sites, like, this is from a novel:
    "Once he paused and turned his eyes on Jarvis. 'Read me from the text of the State Inheritance Tax Statute,' he said. Jarvis took the book and read aloud very quietly and simply the part at the beginning".

    i am only asking, it's not that i don't trust you :-)

  23. typically one would say "Read me the text of the State Inheritance Tax Statute" or if you didn't want to hear the entire text then "Read me an excerpt from the text of the State Inheritance Tax Statute" or "Read to me from the text of the State Inheritance Tax Statute." i've never heard or read it phrased as "Read me from the text of the State Inheritance Tax Statute," so if such was grammatically acceptable then i suspect it was in days of yore.
    but i am no grammarian, so perhaps i am simply mistaken (though it still sounds wrong to me).

  24. we have to ask a very stern professor of classical english, then :-)

    but i suspect that he chose this wording, if it's still possible in some cases, for reasons of rhythm, as i said before - perhaps it could be a case of "poetic license"? i don't know! thanks for pointing that out, i have learned yet another thing :-)

  25. In awe...



    Full of awe but not awful...

    As long as I've been looking at various places on the internet, there is something about your pages, your works of photographic genius, that just defies all comparison, and which defines a level of beauty that can be found imho nowhere else.

    I fear the Floating Bridge will not remain a relatively well kept secret for long... but it would be criminal to keep it a secret...

    Happy holidays by the Danube, in the snow...

  26. yep, they're big enough for wallpaper :)

  27. White woods here today too - so beautiful they make your heart strain at its edges! Like your pictures - as ever.

  28. it saddens me slightly but, among the many things i might say about the first picture, the thing i'm always thinking first is - nice veins!

  29. dear dear Owen - i am so very touched by your kind words (and enthusiastic praise, though this makes me blush :-)
    happily blushing, which is not a bad thing these days, my colour-trained eye, though overwhelmed with emotion, is able to spot the nice contrast this makes against the white of the snow :-)

    ps. i suppose you wrote this comment before the Windows hell made you a prisoner? damn damn damn - is there no way to revert to XP?

    happy happy holidays to you as well, and warm hugs from the Danube plains :-)

  30. Rachel, so nice to hear of you again - and such lovely things, i didn't know one could say: "heart straining at its edges" :-)
    Happy Holidays!

  31. ah swiss, the veins fetishist! :-P

    (though i can't say this vice has eluded me completely, sigh :-)

  32. call it a small (and very specific!) glimpse of beauty! lol

  33. Merry Christmas, roxana
    (and to everyone else here, of course)

    keep well,


  34. La troisième photo cela me touche énormément par de multitude métaphore

  35. Doamne ce minunata e cea cu picaturile de apa pe crengi,e superba.De multe ori vedeam astfel de imagini cand ploua si ma intorceam acasa seara, am incercat si eu sa fac pe culori ceva mai calde, dar niciodata nu mi-a reusit atmosfera pe care o doream, asa ca am lasat-o balta.Imi place la nebunie!

  36. swiss :-P

    (but yes!)

    b, so sweet of you! happy holidays to you as well!


    tu es venu - tu vas mieux, n'est-ce pas? je pense toujours a toi, et te souhaite le meilleur, de tout coeur - tes images et tes histoires de Thailande me manquent enormement...

  37. Edith :-)

    m-ai facut fericita! :-) nu stiu ce s-a intamplat, mi-a iesit toata seria asta, o sa mai postez din ea in curand :-)

  38. e splendida seria asta...vad ca iarna te inspira...