As with many translators before me, I believe that the length, stateliness, and suppleness of English iambic pentameter provides the best substitute for Latin dactylic hexameter. The question of rhyme is a trickier one. Some classicists are adamantly opposed to the use of end-rhyme in classical translations. On the other hand, A.E. Housman always used it in his versions of Latin poems. I have not used end-rhyme in my versions of somber Latin poems, such as Tibullus’ elegies, but I have used it in my translations of humorous Latin verse because I believe that the surprises and joys of rhyme enhance any translation of a riddle.
Monday, July 09, 2018
… "As pounded gaping metal": Translating Saint Aldhelm’s Aenigmata. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)