Category Archives: Horace

The power of fortuna: Odes 1.34, lines 1-15

I appreciate this poem because Horace here points to the influence chance, personified in Fortuna, has on the lives of everyone. He examines anxieties common to everyone, especially those living in a period of political unrest as Horace was. Also, as an English major and a writer, I appreciate Horace’s imagery in this passage; he […]

The Return of Spring – Lucretius, Catullus and Horace (contributed by Viviana La Russa and Simona Borrello)

Lucretius was the first author of Latin literature that dealt with the topòs of “The return of spring” in a passage of his poem “De Rerum Natura” (I vv.250-256). The author describes the landscapes that become green again, the changing weather and the feeling of happiness given by the new season. This theme was resumed […]

Horace Odes III.12 (contributed by Terry Walsh)

A beguiling lyric, Horace’s unique poem in this metre, and one does not even know how to divide up the verses. Who is talking and to whom? Is Neobule (a.k.a. Planning-novelties) talking to herself? If she is, then is she also, metaphorically, the boar of the last stanza…..? Terry Walsh Miserarum est neque amori dare […]

Horace, Odes 3.30 (contributed by Terry Walsh)

Horace’s sphragis or sign-off poem to the first three books of his Odes. The poem has a stately simplicity about it, which perhaps derives from the run of adynata in the first five lines. Otherwise, the poem is full of I and me, the signs of a proud boast which Horace diverts at the end […]

Horace Odes 1.9 (Contributed by Nicholas Debenham)

In World War II General Heinrich Kreipe, the German military Governor of Crete, was kidnapped by the British in a daring raid by a Special Operations Executive team, led by Patrick Leigh Fermor. The story is that General Kreipe, when being conducted up Mount Ida by his British captors, gazed at the snow-covered peak and […]

Horace Odes 1.5 (contributed by Anne Dicks)

This is a totally brilliant poem.  “One of Horace’s rare failures” is how a book which used to be in the Leicester University library described it – because of the convoluted word-order of the first few lines. The poem itself is lovely, with storms as a metaphor for the troubles of love, and some people […]

Horace Odes 3.29-65 (contributed by Llewelyn Morgan)

The second half of Horace’s very finest lyric – it combines a profound view of how to live life with the most exquisite use of poetic form. Just to give two examples: the language describing the river of life fails to obey the stanza structure the way floodwaters fail to respect their ordinary channels, and […]