Sunday, October 29, 2006

My Eyes Are Covered With A Double Night...

Catullus #51

That man is equal to God,
or so it seems,
to me.

He even, may I say it,
exceeds divinity, for he sits
near you, again and again,
he sees you and he hears
you laughing sweetly.

All my senses have escaped,
they flee my misery, for
as soon as I have seen you, my Lesbia,
no voice is left to me.

Words numb my mouth,
creeping flames seize my weak limbs,
my ears ring with their own sound.

Oh Lesbia. My eyes are covered with a double night.

(Procrastinate? Who, me?)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Parrot Poem

Because it's after midnight and I can't sleep. And it's funny.

"Alas, the Parrot"
The Parrot, imitator bird from the Indies of the East, has died.
     Go in throngs to his funeral, birds, go in throngs;
Go, pious winged ones, beat your breasts with feathered limb,
     go, and tear your tender cheeks with rigid claw.

All you who balance your course in the liquid air,
     but you before others, friend turtledove, mourn.
He was full of the harmony of life to you
     and lasted to the long end, tenacious and faithful.

What use that faith of yours, what use that form of scattered colour,
     what use that ingenious voice of shifting sounds,
What use that you are given to please my girl?
     Unhappy glory of the birds, you surely now lie dead.

He died, that burbling ghost of the human voice,
     the Parrot, a gift given from the far edge of the world.
The seventh day came, with no hope of another and
     he shouted out his dying words: "Corinna, be well."

Ovid, Amores 2.6, abridged.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

One exam down...

...which had rather a lot of De Bello Gallico in it, and a lot of stuff about Dido and Aeneas. We didn't just have to translate out of the Aenead, but the sight passage from Ovid was a pretend letter from Dido to Aeneas. It was really sad, too. But we also had the Parrot poem, which is lots of fun.

I have one more exam to study for, in which I will write about Paradise Lost for about 3 hours. Sigh.

I have madeira cake in the oven. I only bake so I can lick the dough out of the bowl, really, but the smell as it cooks is just lovely.

EDIT: Death to typos! Stab! Stab! Stab!!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Ah, the happy escapism of Georgette Heyer...

I've been reading Bath Tangle instead of studying, and I'm enjoying it hugely.

So far, Fanny is in love with Major Kirkby, who is engaged to her step-daughter Serena. Serena, although fancying herself in love with Major Kirkby, is actually in love with the Marquis of Rotherham, to whom she was engaged five years earlier, but cried off. The Marquis is engaged to Emily Laleham, a lass of seventeen, who was pressured into the match by her horrible mother. Nobody yet knows why the Marquis wants to marry her, because she's far too young for him. I had thought that Emily would eventually run off with Mr Goring, a good friend of her grandmother's, Mrs Floore, but a young Mr Monksleigh, the ward of the Marquis, has just turned up in Bath and professed undying love for her. He's a silly young nitwit, however, so the dependable Mr Goring might get a look in after all.

I'm sure it will all turn out fine.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sometimes it's the smallest things that make your day...

In my case, it was waking up to a warm room because my lovely boyfriend had turned on the heater before he left this morning. Bliss.

In other news, my Latin teacher has said that it might be possible to run a specialist course next year on Medieval Latin for Naomi and me, for which we are both crossing our fingers. (Naomi is the other medievalist in the English department.) Judy Deuling (aka our Latin teacher) has said that she'll investigate options, so currently I'm tentatively bouncy.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Police States, and All That...

So I'm watching the news from America in a certain state of disbelief.

It's now OK to spy on people. You don't need a warrant or anything, just announce that an "imminent attack" is suspected.,2106,3813267a12,00.html

It's now OK to arrest people without bothering about boring stuff like evidence or warrants. It's also OK to keep them in prison forever, because trials are so tedious and expensive. Oh, and torture? That's just fine, too.,2106,3813143a12,00.html

And while I know that not every American agrees with this legislation:
I am still, once and for always, astonished that US citizens voted George Bush in for a second term. What's the point of fighting a 'War on Terror', if you bring the terror right back home with you?

I'm told that in the latest Superman movie, the scriptwriters carefully excised the phrase "the American Way" from the list of Superman's virtues.

They had a point.