Friday, September 08, 2017

A truly epic Virgil …

 The Continuing Enterprise of the Poem | Open Letters Monthly - an Arts and Literature Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
 Although his translations of Vergil’s Ecologues and Horace’s Odes have been widely praised, it is Ferry’s original poetry for which he has been more widely recognized. In 2012 he won the National Book Award for his collection of poems entitled Bewilderment. His discussion in the preface about his choice to use iambic pentameter for this translation of The Aeneid further underscores his talent as a poet who recognizes the importance of choosing an appropriate meter whether it be for an original piece of work or for a translation. Like generations of English translators of ancient epic that have come before him, Ferry agrees that this meter works best in the language in which he is working: “In my view, the forward-propulsive character of English speech favors iambic pentameter, in which iambic events naturally dominate, with anapestic events as naturally occurring.” 

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