Category Archives: Horace

nunc est bibendum: Odes 1:37

I really like this ode because my sister recommended it to me and I love how Cleopatra is represented in several different ways throughout the poem. I also like how Horace’s mood towards her seems to change – she progresses from a mad queen, to a fated monster, to a woman who, although defeated, is […]

carpe diem: Odes 1.11

Horace’s Carpe diem consists of an invitation for the reader to appreciate the day in all its facets, in every moment, without thinking about tomorrow. It is the most famous of Horace’s odes. It has the tone of a conversation happening in front of a stormy sea, the dialogue is between a mature man, made […]

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, with further contribution by Eugenia Russell)

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 and Eugenia Russell)

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 […]