To Flatten Time & Give Blood to Ghosts

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Title: To Flatten Time & Give Blood to Ghosts Ezra Pound's Homage to Sextus Propertius
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Belew, David
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2011
Publication Date: 2011


Subjects / Keywords: Ezra Pound
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
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Abstract: This thesis incorporates Classical approaches and modern literary criticism to examine Ezra Pound's Homage to Sextus Propertius. This translation of the Augustan poet is first contextualized through the lens of Pound's poetics and wide ranging ideas on translation. The second chapter uses contemporary Classical scholarship to contextualize Propertius' work within the broader Augustan culture and his poetic influences. This view is then contrasted with historically held views of Propertius, particularly those of the Romantic era. The third chapter ties both perspectives together and questions the notion of whether any translation could capture the true Propertius.
Statement of Responsibility: by David Belew
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2011
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Zamsky, Robert; Rohrbacher, David

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Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2011 B42
System ID: NCFE004362:00001

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Material Information

Title: To Flatten Time & Give Blood to Ghosts Ezra Pound's Homage to Sextus Propertius
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Belew, David
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2011
Publication Date: 2011


Subjects / Keywords: Ezra Pound
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: This thesis incorporates Classical approaches and modern literary criticism to examine Ezra Pound's Homage to Sextus Propertius. This translation of the Augustan poet is first contextualized through the lens of Pound's poetics and wide ranging ideas on translation. The second chapter uses contemporary Classical scholarship to contextualize Propertius' work within the broader Augustan culture and his poetic influences. This view is then contrasted with historically held views of Propertius, particularly those of the Romantic era. The third chapter ties both perspectives together and questions the notion of whether any translation could capture the true Propertius.
Statement of Responsibility: by David Belew
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2011
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Zamsky, Robert; Rohrbacher, David

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2011 B42
System ID: NCFE004362:00001

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! TO FLATTEN TIME AND GIVE BLOOD TO GHOSTS: EZRA POUNDS HOMAGE TO SEXTUS PROPERTIUS By DAVID BELEW A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Humanities New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of A rts in Literature Under the sponsorship of Professor Robert Zamsky and David Rohrbacher Sarasota, Florida May, 2011


! "" T a b l e o f C o n t e n t s Introduction 1 Chapter 1 5 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Conclusion 89 Works Cited .. .91


! """ TO FLATTEN TIME AND GIVE BLOOD TO GHOSTS: EZRA POUNDS HOMAGE TO SEXTUS PROPERTIUS DAVID BELEW New College of Florida 2011 ABSTRACT This thesis incorporates Classical approaches and modern literary criticism to examine Ezra Pound s Homage to Sextus Propertius This translation of the Augustan poet is first contextualized through the lens of Pound s poetics and wide ranging ideas on translation. The second chapter uses contemporary Classical scholarship to contextua lize Propertius work within the broader Augustan culture and his poetic influences. This view is then contrasted with historically held views o f Propertius, particularly those of the Romantic era. The third chap ter ties both perspectives together and questions the notion of whether any translation could capture the true Propertius. Robert Zamsky (Co Sponsor) David Rohrbacher (Co Sponsor) Division of Humanities


! "#


! I n t r o d u c t i o n Translation is typically conceived of as the transmission of meaning from one language to another. The meaning expressed in a foreign language is recreated in the native tongue through the selection of words and phrase s with an analogous semantic meaning. In regards to the most basic forms of communication this paradigm works well enough. A rough analogue can be chosen for the foreign word that, for the most part, will convey the intention. Wet floor changes to piso m ojado without any loss in function and nobody slips in the freshly mopped bathroom. However as the complexity of the language being translated increases, the efficacy of this process is strained. Often in artful or more complicated speech nuances specific to a language are implemented that cannot be translated. These nuances are often as integral to expression of the speaker as the dictionary definitions of the discrete words used. Poetry is perhaps defined by the use of such nuances and it, by design, oft en resists interpretation in a singular meaning. Thus throughout history many have deemed poetry untranslatable: Poetry, indeed, cannot be translated; and, therefore, it is the poets that preserve the languages; for we would not be at the trouble to lear n a language if we could have all that is written in it just as well in a translation. But as the beauties of poetry cannot be preserved in any language except that in which it was originally written, we learn the language. (Samuel Johnson) Poetry is what gets lost in translation. (Robert Frost)


! # Such statements have done little to stop the practice of translating poetry. Examples of the practice abound from antiquity to the present day. Translations can never be a perfect substitute for the original work. I n many ways they tell the reader as much if not more about the translator and his or her respective period than the nature of the original work. This is the case with modernist poet Ezra Pound. Translation was a major and widely influential aspect of his project: Understanding the fundamental truth that each age, having its own needs and approaches, needs to remake translation in its own image, Pound serves not so much as a model, and certainly not as formulator of theories or rules, but as an inspiration al beacon. The mark of his influence lies on v irt ally all important poetic translation in this century; if ours is, as has often been claimed, a great age of translation, Pound more than any other figure is responsible. (Raffel, Burton. New Princeton Ency clopedia of Poetry and Poetics 1304) Pounds formal education in Romance languages informed his translations of French and Italian poets into English but throughout his career he translated a myriad of languages including Chinese, Japanese, Latin, and Gre ek that fell outside the scope of his training. Pounds translation methods were perhaps as varied as the languages he treated. Some instances, especially in his earlier works, fit well into the conventional conception of translation. Others constitute a radical shift wherein Pound appears to completely divorce himself from the semantic meaning of the original. Different techniques were used to achieved different goals Pound makes a distinction between those translations


! $ intended to function autonomously f rom t he original text and those meant to act as a kind of accompaniment: Pound drew this distinction when he published his own translations. The 1920 collection Umbra : The Early Poems of Ezra Pound ended with a Main outline of E.P.s works to date, in w hich he classified The Seafarer, Exiles Letter (and Cathay in general), and Homage to Sextus Propertius as Major Perso nae, whereas his versions of Ca va l canti and Provencal poets like Arnaut Daniel were labeled Etudes, study guides to the foreign texts. Pound saw them all as his poems, but used the term Major Personae to single out translations that deserved to be judged according to the same standards as his original writing (Venuti 167) The following study concerns itself with one of the se Major Personae, namely Homage to Sextus Propertius Written in 1916, it was then published piecemeal throughout 1919. The Homage shows Pound on the cusp of his London years. Homage to Sextus Propertius bridges aesthetic and geographic shifts in Pounds career. Though American, Pound begin his major forays into the literary world in England. While there he fostered a variety of literary schools and individual talents. He wrote as an Imagist then a Vorticist and helped publish important works by T.S. Eli ot and James Joyce. Translation was a major component of his practice during these years but upon moving to the continent in 1921 he largely abandoned the practice. Composition of The Cantos consumes the majority of Pounds remaining career. Much of this e pic is


! % comprised of arranged citations shown in their original language. During this period Pound became involved in the Italian fascist regime. After the war Pound was imprisoned for treason and subsequently committed to an American mental institution; he continued work on The Cantos during his stay and would continue doing so after his release and his return to Italy. Pounds practice and poetics are intrinsically tied to his controversial political views, yet his poetry continues to be lauded and imitate d by many strongly critical of fascism. The Homage is particularly relevant to Pounds poetics; the act of translation is inherently tied to that which it purports to transmit, meaning Pounds treatment of Propertius elegies in the Homage will be cont rasted with contemporary Classicist approaches as well as those of the Romantic and Victorian eras Pound reacted against to show how each partys distinct conception of meaning drives their depiction of Propertius. The thesis consists of three chapters. T he first chapter uses secondary criticism along with Pounds literary essays and personal letters to show the integral role of translation in Pounds poetics and how his conception of meaning and his social agenda inform the selection of Propertius as a pe rsona. The second chapter looks at Propertius and elegy through the lens of contemporary Latin scholarship then contrasts this view with historical conceptions of Propertius and Roman literature as a whole. It will show how a corrupted manuscript tradition and Romantic conceptions of authenticity complicated interpretations of Propertius and of Augustan age poetry. The third chapter examines the Homage as an extension of Pounds poetics outlined in chapter one.


! & C h a p t e r O n e The classics, ancient and modern, are precisely the acids to gnaw through the thongs and the bull hides with which we are tied by our school masters. They are the antiseptics. They are almost the only antiseptics against the contagious imbecility of mankind. ( Ezra Pound. Collected Letter s 113) Pound, more than the average poet, provides an extensive body of critical work that helps contextualize and inform readings of the poetry. His critical corpus primarily concerns itself with criticism of particular works and periods. 1 Essays like A Retrospect and Date Line and his attempt at a poetry primer ABC of Reading begin to give a clear picture of Pounds thoughts on the canon and poetry as a whole. However Pound never gives the subject of translation the full attention of an essay desp ite the importance of it to his practice. Essays like A Retrospect and Date Line begin to give a clear picture of Pounds thoughts on the canon and poetry as a whole, but the concept of translation is never given direct treatment outside the criticism of a particular work or period. Parsing through several essays within this vein, specifically No tes on Elizabethan Classicists, The Renaissance and Hell, one can begin to synthesize a kind of Poundian translation theory that is highly dependent on h is more developed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 Pound prefers this kind of criticism to broader theoretical essays: I do not like writing about art, my first, at least I think it was my first essay on the subject, was a protest against it ( A Retrospect 8).


! thoughts on the canon and humanism; ultimately Pounds translation practice derives from his humanistic drive to bring about a new Renaissance. A C a n o n o f L u m i n o u s D e t a i l s To understand Pounds translation theories and practices one ne eds to understand his treatment of canon and the idiosyncratic brand of humanism from which it derives. In Pounds Vorticism as a Renewal of Humanism Charles Altieri notes the plurality of meanings Humanism has had over the course of history and provides a definition hopefully applicable to all its various permutations: Humanism is above all a set of practices and themes devoted to the process of idealizing the potential of human agents to produce and respond to certain values not typical of any social m arket place and not derived from some transcendental doctrine but carried in a privileged set of exemplary actions ... Essential to traditional humanism is a three step process for idealization establishing a canon of authoritative classical texts, propos ing models for reading those texts which make clear the powers justifying the authority claimed, and forming from the texts and the reading processes terms for self representation capable of serving as projected best selves and thus shaping our behavior as ethical agents. (441)


! ( Altieri is not talk ing about Pounds h umanism here Rather he is discussing the Renaissance Humanism it is based on. Pounds war against abstraction and the immaterial make direct dige stion of this model difficult: abstract argum ents didnt get mankind rapidly forward or, or rapidly extend the borders of knowledge ( Pound. ABC of Reading, 26). 2 Thus though a process of idealization drives his poetics, he does not process ideals so easily as Renaissance thinkers inclined to see va lidation in the immaterial and the representative; Pound defines his practice in contrast to the Renaissance: Renaissance sought realism and attained it. It rose in search for precision and declined through rhetoric and rhetorical thinking, through a habi t of defining things always in terms of something else. Whatever force there may be in our decade and vortex is likewise in a search for a certain precision; in a refusal to define things in the terms of something else; in the primary pigment. (qtd. A ltieri 447) Pounds humanism and the new Renaissance it is meant to invoke is primarily interested in creating a degree of autonomy for art, art independent of a representative or mimetic function or recourse to an ideology. Pounds championing of Luminou s Details poetry and art is the final manifestation of this aim. Pound first explored the concept of Luminous Detail in I Gather the Limbs of Osiris, a multi part essay that appeared in the New Age through 1911 and 1912. Pound !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 Pound is not concerned with any deeper spiritual reality; his roots strike only into this world and this society and it is here that he wishes reform to begin ( Sullivan 33).


! ) sets up Luminous Detail as a long standing tradition in opposition to prevailing methods of scholarship: In the history of the development of civilisation or of literature, we come upon such interpreting detail. A few dozen facts of this nature give us intelligence of the period a kind of intelligence not to be gathered from a great array of facts of the other sort. These facts are hard to find. They are swift and easy of transmission. They govern knowledge as the switchboard governs an electric circuit The artist seeks out the l uminous detail and presents it. He does not comment. His work remains the permanent basis of psychology and metaphysics. Each historian will `have ideas' presumably different from other historians imperfect inductions, varying as the fashions, but th e luminous details remain unaltered. As scholarship has erred in presenting all detail as if of equal import, so also in literature, in a present school of writing we see a similar tendency. But this is aside the mark. ( I Gather the Limbs of Osiris 23) A Luminous D etail can be a particular sequence of historical events or simply the juxtaposition of a shaft of light and a chair. For Pound it is a physical reality that, without recourse to the supernatural or abstract, alludes to a grander design running through history and the objects inhabiting it. More than alluding, the Luminous Detail purports to embody greater patterns inherent to the natural world Hugh Kenner sees the concept as integral to Pounds poetics and discusses it at length in his seminal book The Pound Era :


! Luminous Details, then are patterned integrities which when transferred out of their context of origin retain their power to enlighten us. They have this power because, as men came to understand early in the 20 t h century, all realiti es whatever are patterned energies. If mass is energy (Einstein), then all matter exemplifies knottings, the self interference inhibiting radiant expansion at the speed of light. Like a slip knot, a radioactive substance expends itself. Elsewhere patterns weave, unweave, reweave: light becomes leaf becomes coal becomes light. (Kenner 153) Luminous detail is a means of enlightenment independent of historical origin or context. F or Pound the implementation of Luminous D etail leads to a new Renaissance a way of understanding ourselves independently of ideology. Kenners definition highlights the connection Pound sees between his poetics and the burgeoning scientific practice of the 20 t h c entury; Pounds new Renaissance is not independent of ideology or rhetor ic, it is simply making recourse to a new one. Pound argues for the similarities between the sciences and the arts to great ends in On the Serious Artist, giving an emphasis on permanence that echoes his formulation of Luminous D etail: The permanent pro perty, the property given to the race at large is precisely these data of the serious scientist and of the serious artist; of the scientist as touching the relations of abstract numbers, of molecular energy, of the composition of matter, etc; of the seriou s artists, as touching the nature of man, of individuals. Men will still try to promote the ideal state. No


! "+ perfect state will be founded on the theory, or on the working hypothesis that all men are alike. No science save the arts will give us the requisit e data for learning in what ways men differ. (47) This recourse to science and the purported objectivity therein enables him to discuss the abstract in disguise. Beauty is no longer dependent on formulated ideals. It is instead an inevitable effect of spec ific stimuli on an individual: Beauty in art reminds one what is worth while. I am not now speaking of shams. I mean beauty, not slither sentimentalizing about beauty, not telling people that beauty is the proper and respectable thing. I mean beauty. You dont argue about an April wind, you feel bucked up when you meet it. You feel bucked up when you come on a swift moving thought in Plato or on a fine line in a statue (ibid. 45). Louis Zukofsky a poet of similar aesthetic interests who frequently corre sponded with Pound, aptly compresses Pounds aims: He has treated the arts as a science so that their morality and immorality become a matter of accuracy and inaccuracy (Ezra Pound 8). Through the pretense of scientific objectivity, Pound moves towards the authority in the second step of Altieris Humanist model and begins to for m ulate a canon based on those poets he was already working with. 3 In Pounds view the state of a civilization is !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 According to Pound only the specialist, with the authority his expertise affords, can deter mine the nature and source of these effects and fully parse the accurate and moral (i.e. good art) from the inaccurate and immoral Pound vests in himself the authority to judge moral from immoral works of art, but this does not directly lead to the dic tation of moral decrees or strictures on behavior. On the contrary this selective dictation allows the true liberating function of literature to have maximum effect: And this function is not the coercing or emotionally persuading, or bullying or suppressi ng


! "" intrinsically tied to the health of its language and literary tr aditions; thus, maintenance of a language by those who are qualified is a civic duty : ,-.!/01!23!415.67801591:!;01!12!/26.!798!<49.8!015!6.79:1.5!=-9>.! -97!;24186?!>.87!98!>98.60846.!5.;0?@!015!>.87!:225!=69891:!/..8! ;218./A8@!8-01!0!:225!52;826!;24>5!798 !<49.8!015!;218.18.5!=-9>.! 72/.!9:126018!;-9>5!=07!913.;891:!987.>3!=98-!84B.6;4>2797!415.6!8-.! 9/A6.77921!8-08!98!=07!/.6.>?!.0891:!C0/!80687D!E !"# !$$F his duty entails two primary actions The first action is the critical demand for precise and control led language. This is primarily achieved through criticism. The second action is the cultivation of a canon. Th e first is largely contingent on the second. In The Renaissance Pound posits: If a man knew Villon, and the Seafarer and Dante, and that one scrap of Ibycus, he would, I think, never be able to be content with a sort of pretentious and decorated verse (216). This canon stays largely consistent throughout Pounds life; twenty years later in ABC of Reading he touches on the same authors in a si milar way: Without knowing Dante, Guido Calvalcanti and Villon, no one can judge the attained maxima of certain kinds of writing (57). Pounds selection of this canon is based on his poetics of innovation. He proposes these specific works because in the m he identifies the first instance of a new form or mode. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!! people into the acceptance of any one set or any six sets of opinions as opposed to any other one set (How to Read 21).


! "# Pound sees in Sappho and Ibycus the primary aspects of elegy that would be tweaked and adapted by other writers over the centuries. Works using these forms afterwards that do not contain their own innovations are merely a dilution of the originals essence: For every great age a few poets have written a few beautiful lines, or found a few exquisite melodies, and ten thousand people have copied them, until each strand of music is planed down to a dullness ( Notes on Eliz abethan Classicists, 243 244). What is the essential quality in question that grants a work position in Pounds canon ? The answer is concise: Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree ( How to Read 23). The compressed nature of Pounds explanation begets its complexity. Kenner pulls out instances where Pound alludes to his definition of meaning in letters to W.H.D. Rouse and Michael Reck: Id like to see a rewrite as if you didnt no w the words of the original and were telling what happened. And to Michael Reck, about a proposed Japanese Trachiniae (from Pounds English, from Sophokles Greek), Dont bother about the WORDS, translate the MEANING. Dont translate what I wrote, trans late what I MEANT to write. ( Kenner 150) Pounds conception of meaning is distinct from that presented in the conventional paradigm of translation. For Pound there is a certain division between meaning and word: In the verse something has come upon the i ntelligence. In the prose the intelligence has found a subject for its observations. The poetic fact pre exists ( The Serious Artist 54). In both quotations meaning exists outside of regular language. Meaning is a natural energy that can be embodied in l anguage Beauty and meaning perhaps signify the same thing, that poetic fact that pre exists language namely Luminous D etail.


! "$ Luminous Detail, mea ning, beauty, the poetic fact, are all a part of the same thing and pre exist language they are natura l idealized forms. Idealized yet a ttainable, existing both in the line of the statue and the April wind, this natural energy can manifest i tself i n the manmade. In ABC of Reading Pound identifies the basic techniques necessary to create great works of lit erature. Through the se techniques the meaning that pre exists language can become embodied in language; beauty is embodied both in the natural force of the April wind and the constructed line of verse : NEVERTHELESS you still charge words with meaning mainl y in three ways, called phanopoeia, melopoeia, logopoeia. You use a word to throw a visual image on to the readers imagination, or you charge it by sound, or you use groups of words to do this. Thirdly you take the greater risk of using the word in some special relation to usage, that is, the kind of context in which the reader expects, or is accustomed, to find it. This is the last means to develop, it can only be used by the sophisticated. (If you really want to understand what I am talking about, you will have to read ultimately, Propertius and Jules Laforgue ( ABC 38). For Pound all poetic expression is created through these means. The canonical writers are unique but they achieve their innovation through these fixed means. Following a trend of compr ession, Pound lays out the canon that one needs to know in order to get his bearings, in order to have a sound judgment of any bit of writing that may come before


! "% him (How to Read 27). These works act as a means of discernment. They are selected beca use of their innovation and put forward as models: I n the meantime we have come upon a new table of values. I can only compare this endeavor of criticism to the contemporary search for pure color in painting. We have come to some recognition of the fact th at poets like Villon, Sappho, and Catullus differ from poets like Milton, Tasso and Camoens, and that size is no more a criterion of writing than it is of painting. I suppose no two men will agree absolutely respectin g pure color or good color, but the modern painter recognizes the importance of the palette. One can but make ones own spectrum or table. (215) Here the practical nature of Pounds canonical theory reveals itself. These canonical texts contain qualities already shown to be effective that can be employed by the poet through imitation. P ure color for Pound is an effective form or technique t hat has never before been used. The aspiring poet must be familiar with these works before saying something new himself: As for adaption; one finds t hat all the old masters of painting recommend to their pupils that they begin by copying masterwork, and proceed to their own composition (A Retrospect 10). One of the most effective means of engagement with the classics, the available pallete is thro ugh translation. Pound identifies it as perhaps the mos t effective form of maintenance, reinvigorating language and society: After this period English literature lives on in translation, it is fed by translation. Every new heave is stimulated by transla tion (How to Read 34 35). Pound believes that he is at the cusp of a new heave.


! "& T r a n s l a t i o n s R o l e i n t h e C a n o n Translations play an essential and practical role in society for Pound as he believes: The sum of human wisdom is not c ontained in any one language, and no single language is CAPABLE of expressing all forms and degrees of human comprehension ( ABC of Reading 34). Pound doesnt expect the average person to learn five languages so they can really understand how poetry works but he does believe that contact with the various swatches of pure color available in world poetry can have an actualizing effect on those who experience it, allowing them a glimpse of his sum of human wisdom, and that this effect is essential for huma nity to reach its full potential. It is a kind of social obligation for the learned poet, one whose unique gifts and disposition allow him to directly engage with these works, to make elements of this pure color available to the public through translation. This progressive effect is not achieved through just any kind of translation. Pound does not say age of translation he specifies that there are great ages. Often the case with Pound, defining what constitutes his great age is best determined through his negative criticisms, his diagnoses of decadent strains of translations. Any engagement with a foreign tongue is an act of transmission. Understand ing the construction of a foreign language inevitably changes the way a speaker conceives of his own ton gue. Translation is the most realized and active kind of engagement in which, depending on the preferences of the translator, any number of foreign qualities can be transmitted. In Pounds poetics the transmission is not always positive. Furthermore Pound often asserts that essential qualities of a work are untranslatable. He believes this especially to be the case with Greek works translated into English: Greek in English


! "' remains almost wholly unsuccessful, or rather, there are glorious passages but no lo ng or whole satisfaction ( Translators of Greek 249). Pound has a lack of concern for this problem, he seems to believe in some incompatibility between the two languages and even goes so far as to blame this incompatibility for a decadent strain of Engli sh letters: The first effect of the Greek learning was possibly bad. There was a deal of verbalism. We find the decadence of this movement in Tasso and Ariosto and Milton ( The Renaissance 215) 4 Out of these three Pound seems to have despised Milton t he most. Extremely negative critiques of Milton abound in Pounds theoretical writing. Milton epitomizes a bad strain of English poetry that idealizes and imitates the untranslatable aspects of Classical languages: The great break in European literary h istory is the change over from inflected to uninflected language. And a great deal of critical nonsense has been written by people who did not realize the difference ( ABC 50). Latin and Greek are inflected languages, grammatical information is contained i n word endings that decline based on their function. This gave the ancients a great degree of syntactical freedom. The word order of a sentence could be changed according to preference without compromising semantic meaning. Though there were conventional w ays to order a sent ence, a Classical poet could play with t he position of subject and verb to emphasize the particular importance of a noun or to manipulate the expectations of the reader. English is not inflected; syntax determines how the subject and nou n operate in a sentence. Throughout the English tradition many writers, enamored with classical models, have pushed the constraints of English to emulate Greek and Latin syntax. Pound !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 Pounds lack of concern is likely the product of his fondness for the then waning now all but lost tradition of using Latin cri bs to directly engage with Greek texts.


! "( believes this unnatural and diagnoses Milton as a primary source of this decadent English tendency: When Milton writes: Him who disobeys me disobeys he is, quite simply doing wrong to his mother tongue. He meant Who dis obeys him, disobeys me. It is perfectly easy to understand why he did it, but his reasons prove that Sha kespeare and several dozen other men were better poets. Milton did it because he was chock a block with Latin. He had studied his English not as a living language, but a s something subject to theories. ( ABC 51) Miltons decadence stems from disengagement w ith the qualities of his own language prompted by his over idealization with classical forms. For Pound successful translation entails active engagement with both. Anything less creates stilted and unnatural poetry in the modern language. Furthermore it do es a disservice to the original as it destroys the natural tone of the language, what Pound calls the authentic cadence of speech ( ETH 250). In contrast to Milton, Pound identifies several successful and regenerative translations in Notes on Elizabeth an Classicists that for him, engage with classical works to benefit of the English language: We have drifted out of touch with Latin authors as well, and we have mislaid the fine English versions: Goldings Metamorphoses ; Galvin Douglas Aenids ; Marlowe s Ecologues from Ovid, in each of which books a great poet has compensated, by his own skill, any loss in translation; a new beaut y has in each case been created. (249)


! ") Written within a year of Pounds composition of the Homage the essay frames well how Pound thought of translation at the time. As with Pounds other canonical selections in Literary Essays these figures stay consistent throughout his career with Pound revisiting them and his opinion on Greek in ABC of Reading : I dont know how they can get an idea of Greek. There are no satisfactory English translations. A Latin crib can do a good deal. If you read French you can get the STORY of the Iliad and of the beginning of the Odyssey from Salel and Jamym, or rather you could if their books weren t out of print. ( I know of no edition more recent than 1590.)You can get Ovid, or rather Ovids stories in Goldings Metamorphoses which is the most beautiful book in the language. (58) Pound calls Goldings translation the most beautiful book in the language. He sees it as a case where the skill of the author not only makes up for the loss in translation but also overcomes this loss in creating some thing independently beautiful Golding preceded Milton by a generation and translated a number of Latin works. In contrast to Milton, Pound sees Golding as Latinist for whom English is a living language: Another point in defence of Golding: his constant use of did go, did say, etc., is not fustian and mannerism; it was contemporary speech ( NEC 238). Pounds speculations about the relationship between Golding and Chaucer in Notes on Elizabethan Classicists sheds light on this matter and, from a broader perspective, shows the rejuvenating effect translation can have on the language into which a grea t work is being translated:


! "* Yet how great was Chaucers debt to the Doctor Amoris [Ovid]? That we will never know. Was Chaucers delectable style simply the first Ovid in English? Or, as likely, is Goldings Ovid a mirror of Chaucer? Or is a fine poet ev er translated until another his equal invents a new style in a later language? Can we, for our part, know our Ovid until we find Golding? Is there one of us so good at his Latin, and so ready in imagination that Golding will not throw upon his mind shades and glamours inherent in the original text which had for all that escaped him? (235) Pound is confident that Chaucer, Golding, and Ovid are interrelated but is unsure of the exact nature of this relationship. 5 U ncertain of the degree to which Chaucer copi ed Ovid, he speculates that Chaucer could simply be the first English Ovid Such a solution is dependent on an idea that Ovids work is fulfilling some kind of fixed function in poetry and that Chaucers work is the inevitable manifestation of this in th e English language; it is a theory operating under a pretense of a fixed, predetermined progression of the language evinced by this letter written to Iris Barry in 1916, the same year he wrote Notes and Homage : I believe language has improved ; Latin is better than Greek and French than Latin for everything save certain melodic effects ( Letters 95). His supposition that a great poet cannot be translated into a language until a new style of said languages own is developed is equally dependent on simil ar idealizations. But, folding in on itself, a new style is only developed through engagement with past works. The new !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 When prompted to describe the process of transmission, the connect ive tissue of the canon, Pound t akes recourse to scientific or metaphysical analogy: If Dante had not done a deal more than borrow rhymes from Arn aut Daniel and theology from Aquinas he would not be published by Dent in the year of grace 1913. We might come to believe that the thing that matters in art is a sort of energy, something more or less like electricity or radio activity, a force transfusin g, welding, and unifying ( The Serious Artist 49).


! #+ style that enables the translation is itself the product of a looking back. But to what does one look back? In Goldings translation Poun d points out shades and glamours inherent to the original text revealed to an otherwise ignorant reader, but does not detail what enables Golding to see these hidden qualities. Milton, th ough chock a block with Latin, is unable to see such qualities, t he Luminous Details, in the Latin texts. One needs more than grammati cal and historical knowledge. Befitting his esteemed social function, the serious artist is equipped with a special insight that is greater than the average individual. A tension exists i n Pounds translation theory. According to Kenner The Luminous Details present in a great work maintain their efficacy in and out of original context. Pound depends on this static consistent essence within a work but simultaneously emphasizes the flux wi thin its medium, language: You receive the language as your race has left it, the words have meanings which ha ve grown into the races skin; the Germans say wie einem der Schnabel gewachsen ist, as his beak grows. And the good writer chooses his words for their meaning, but that meaning is not a set, cut off thing like the move a knight or a pawn on a chess board. It comes up with roots and associations, with how and where the word is familiarly used, or where it has been used brilliantly or memorabl y ( ABC 36). Pound resolves the tension between the timelessness of luminous detail and the flux of language through a rather idiosyncratic conception of time, one he began developing early in his career and got closest to realizing a few years on in the C antos :


! #" The thermodynamic march of events is, in global terms, the stuff of history and therefore, on Pounds own claim, the stuff of The Cantos. Yet, with the exception of those cantos outlining Chinese history, where thermodynamic time and chronology achi eve some equivalence, the historical chain of events, the concatenation of cause and effect, is broken (Pearlman). Past disorders are reenacted without reference to times arrow, become part of the e ntropic press of present events. (Wilson 68) The poet c uts through the detritus of association but uses it as his medium at the same time, because he is the antennae of his race : Artists are the antennae of the race. If this statement is incomprehensible and if its corollaries need any explanation, let me pu t it that a nations writers are the voltometers and steam gauges of a nations intellectual life. (The Teachers Mission 58) Because of this sensitiv ity he is aware of l arger patterns in the flux, able to look backwards and forwards simultaneously. Th e antennae can then transmit the Luminous Detail, a timeless essence free from decay i.e. the thermodynamic march of events, to a receiving audience. This conception of the poet is manifested in Pounds fixation with Katabasis; in composition the line betw een poet and epic hero blurs. Katabasis is a Greek word denoting some kind of descent. Though it can mean anything from going downhill to making a trip to the coast, it is most commonly used to refer to the heros descent into the underworld. The first re corded instance of this is in the Odyssey with Odysseus visit to Tiresius in Chapter 11 or the Nekuia In this and later


! ## instances the hero is given gifts or instructions by the dead which aid him and his companions on their journey. This plot point beca me an expected trope of epic explored by both Virgil and Dante. Pound was fascinated w ith the concept. Giving careful attention to the Nekuia, he believed it served a special role in early civilization and predated the rest of Homers work, written languag e itself (Kenner 147) Thus, paradoxically the descent into death (an end) is itself a return to the beginning: A return to origins invigorates because it is a return to nature and reason. The man who returns to origins does so because he wishes to beha ve in the eternally sensible manner. That is to say, naturally, reasonably, intuitively. He does not wish to do the right thing in the wrong place, to hang an ox with trappings, as Dante puts it. He wishes not pedagogy but harmony, the fitting thing. (Th e Tradition 92) In the underworld there is the fixedness necessary for Pounds poetics to function. It is achieved only in a world where every person that ever lived coexists simultaneously. As in a collage, mythological figures exist on the same plane ri pped from their historical context. For Pound this descent is embodied in translation and has far reaching implications for poetry as a whole: it seems to have been about 1911 that Pound came to think of translation as a model for the poetic act: blood br ought to ghosts ( Kenner 150). In the Nekuia Odysseus draws his own blood to feed the shades and give them a voice, thus his own body becomes a medium for the voices of the past. The fulfillment of this role requires rejection of conventional expectations of translation where the translator is prompted to minimize his presence. It is the obligation of Pounds serious artist his or


! #$ her job, to make the descent letting his own essential qualities, his v irt become a medium. Pounds conception of v irt u nderpins many of his thoughts on translation and the evolution of the literary canon: I want to establish a disjunction as to the Tuscan aesthetic. The term metaphysic might be used if it were not so appallingly associated with in peoples minds with unsup portable conjecture and devastated terms of abstractionMan shares plastic with the statue, sound does not require a human being to produce it. The bird, the phonograph sing. Sound can be exteriorized as completely as plastic. There is the residue of perce ption, perception of something that requires a human being to produce it. Which even may require a certain individual to produce it. This really complicates the aesthetic. You deal with an interactive force: the v irt in short. ( Ca va l canti 151 152 ) Plas tic h ere is synonymous physicality. T he v irt comes from a physical place but it is itself in between the physical and the incorporeal, a residue birthed from friction caused by perception that, to Pounds chagrin, can only be described as metaphysical. A ccording to Pound, ones perception of matter, the precision with which an a n tennae picks up waves, is highly contingent upon their own physica l constitution. The poets body, his gait, and even the climate in which he lives dictate certain qualiti es of st yle. T he manner in which he perceives and replicates patterns running through history is altered by the body much in the manner that a breath of air driven through a particular clarinet will


! #% produce a sound different from any other clarinet because of unco ntrollable variations in the wood. Pounds thoughts on the process are heavily based on physiogony: Effects of a decent climate where a man leaves his nerve set open, or allows it to tune in to its own ambience, rather than struggling, as a northern race has to for self preservation, to guard the body from assaults of weather. He declines after a time, to limit reception to his solar plexus. The whole thing has nothing to do with taboos and bigotries. It is more than the simple athleticism of the mens sana in corpore sano The conception of the body as perfect instrument of the i ncreasing intelligence pervades. (ibid 152) The process is a dynamic one. How these experiences function constantly change as incoming stimuli perpetually recontextualize the memor ies of the old, as Pound says they are an interactive force T.S. Eliots analogy in Tradition and the Individual Talent similarly casts the poet as a medium for historical and cultural forces but differs from Pounds antennae in important ways. In El iots analogy the consciousness of the poet is represented as a catalyst in a chemical reaction T hrough its presence transforms preexisting elements, a peoples history and literary canon, into a different form: The analogy was that of the catalyst. Wh en the two gases previously mentioned are mixed in the presence of a filament of platinum, they form sulphurous acid. This combination takes place only if the platinum is present; nevertheless the newly formed acid contains no trace of platinum,


! #& and the pl atinum itself is apparently unaffected; has remained inert, neutral, and unchanged. The mind of the poet is the shred of platinum. It may partly or exclusively operate upon the experience of the man himself; but, the more perfect the artist, the more compl etely separate in him will be the man who suffers and the mind which creates; the more perfectly will the mind digest and transmute the passions which are its material. (Eliot 117) Pound does not share Eliots ideal of an impregnable crystalline consciousn ess nor the insistence that individuality, the unique traces of the poets consciousness, should not be present in the art product. In Pounds poetics the poet, the filament of platinum is anything but inert. There is a loop, a reflexive relationship the poet has with the larger culture as well as his or her chosen influences I mpress ions are constantly being made upon the virt by societal forces even as the poet, through his artistic production, adds to the force. This process can be conceived of as a ki nd of resonant vibration between the poet and society, one that f luctuates and evolves accordingly For Pound a poem is a kind of snapshot of this process, a physical product of an otherwise unperceivable process,. Pound believes that one can experience v irt of the past through art. In translation the v irt of the translator and the poet who wrote it mingle. This comingling has implications both for the poet translating and society at large. Zukofsky sums up the merits of Pounds translation practice r ather well: What then is his contribution? Briefly, the distinction of rendering into English unexplored poetic forms, and of translating himself through personae (Ezra Pound 71). Pound may not have appreciated Zukofskys delineation. As antennae of t he race a true poets self


! #' development is intrinsically tied to the languages revitalization. In regards to his canonical choices and translation practices, Pound has the utmost faith in his critical insight: With regard to the following list, one ingeni ous attacker suggested that I had included certain poems in this list because I had myself translated them. The idea that during twenty five years search I had translated the poems BECAUSE they were the key positions or the best illustrations, se ems not t o have occurred to him. ( ABC 41) Hindsight shows that the relationship between these two functions is far from intrinsic, especially in Pounds case. Though he feigns scientific objectivity, Pounds aesthetic preferences are not synonymous with societys n eeds. It is thus useful to maintain Zukofskys distinction between these two elements o f Pounds translation practice. Translation, as persona, functions as a means of self actualization for Pound. Pounds process of personal self actualization however do es not directly correlate with that of society. P o u n d a n d P r o p e r t i u s What drove Pound to translate Propertius? On one level Propertius caught Pounds eye because he saw technique s and qualities of style that were translatable, that pa ralleled his own c onception of modern English. Pound maintained this idea well after


! #( writing the Homage writing to Felix Schelling in 1922: The point of the archaic language in the Prov. trans. is that the Latin is really modern. We are just getting back to a Roman stat e of civilization, or in reach of it ( Letters 179). On another level are the political affiliations Pound sees in Propertius; he sees synchronicities between his and Propertius roles as poets in their respective societies: The value being that the Roman poets are the only ones we know of who had approximately the same problems as we have (ibid. 90). Yet another reason is Pounds identification of Propertius as an originator of logopoeia one of the primary means of crafting poetic language. Pounds adv ice is to get at the oldest manifestation of a particular poetic method, with Propertius poetry being the only logopoeia Pound sees until LaForgue in the nineteenth century, his reasoning for translating the work becomes clear. Propertius use of logopoei a makes him an innovator and thus part of the minimum basis for a sound and liberal education in letters (How to Read 38) For Pound, Homage to Sextus Propertius is more than a translation. It is the adoption of a persona. To adopt a persona is to we ar another poet like a mask Pound speaks of it a s a way towards self actualization : In the search for oneself, in the search for sincere self expression, one gropes, one finds, for some seeming verity. One says I am this, that or the other, and with the words scarcely uttered one ceases to be that thing I began this search for the real in a book called Personae casting off, as it were, complete masks of the self in each poem. I continued in a long series of translations, which were but more elabora te masks. (qtd. Sullivan 26)


! #) F or it is only through imitation that one can develop a new style. One cannot make it new without going through that which has been said. Propertius is an analogue for himself, thus Pound believes he can faithfully translate Propertius and still fit within, preserve his own v irt and get his own voice and point across He highlights the utility of Propertius in this 1922 letter to Felix Schelling : And original? ? ? when I can so snugly fit into the words of Propertius almo st thirty pages with nothing that isnt S.P., or with no distortion of his phrases that is nt justifiable elsewhere? ( Letters of Ezra Pound 181). Propertius, perhaps more than any of the poets Pound chose to translate, leaves room for Pound to fit into because of his use of logopoeia. Logopoeia incorporates but is more than irony; it is a kind of self interference in which the connotations of the style of language goes against or play with the semantic meaning being conveyed. In How to Read Pound write s: Logopoeia does not translate; though the attitude of mind it expresses may pass through a paraphrase. Or one might say, you can not translate it locally, but having determined the original authors state of mind, you may or may not be able to find a derivative or equivalent. (25) The process of finding equivalents in his translation allows Pound to insert his own voice. Propertius irony was not widely acknowledged when Pound composed and published Homage to Sextus Propertius Upon its publicatio n Pound was accused of embellishing a relatively small aspect of Propertius project:


! #* T he Homage is very much alive, indeed more alive than the Mouers contemporaires, and should be read, by those who have Latin, with the speed and gusto with which it wa s evidently written. Mr. Pound has developed the small germ of humor in Propertius so small that no one else noticed it till it runs over his whole work (qtd. Sullivan 6 7 ). Still looking at the classics through a Romantic lens, the majority of schola rs and critics casted Propertius as a desperate lover, whose communication of authentic feeling is perhaps diluted by his fixation with mythic exempla and thus inferior to the raw sentiment of Catullus (Sullivan 38 39). Critical methods and attitudes have changed a great deal since 1917 and more contemporary scholarship on Propertius, and Latin poetry as a whole, give s a great deal of attention to this reflexive aspect of the poetry. Far from being a small germ, Margaret Hubbard identifies it as a drivin g force in Propertius oeuvre. 6 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6 Though she does not use Pounds terminology, her analysis of Propertius subversion of rhetorical structures directly parallels logopoeia, making the same emphasis on manipulation of expectation. Like Pound, Hubbard notes the lack of sensitivity a modern has to such structures: Certainly some Propertian difficulties stem from the poets belief, obviously justified in antiquity, that his readers would recognize a point of wit or an ironical jest, or for that matter an ironical stance. In this sense the allusiveness and the sudden transitionsreally do exist, and one has to watch out for them though not in Propertius only. The Latin poets nearest to him in this respect are probably Juvenal and Luca n: all three of them work within a rhetorical and poetical tradition that l e ads the reader to expect that b will follow a; all three of them exploit this fact and aim at the surprise of paradox, where the cultivated reader is expected to savour the colloca tion of a and not b. This is a poetry of wit, in a sense more familiar to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries than to our own ( Hubbard 6).


! $+ The historical failure in perceiving Propertius l ogopoeia is understandable because the method is perhaps as difficultly transmitted across eras as languages. It plays with a readers expectations; for Propertius Augustan audience Latin was a living language that permeated life. For the 18 t h century scholar it is a manuscript distanced from him or her by years of textual corruption and cultural shifts. Moderns have access only to highly standardi zed and specific forms of L atin, those artful texts that made it into the canon. This constrains expectation and as a result receptivity to l ogopoeia. The most learned Latin scholar in the 20 t h century cannot hope to achieve as sophisticated or nuanced relationship with the language as an even casual appreciator of poetry could for whom Latin is a first language. Using the canonical works we have access to, moderns can achieve some scope through cross referencing Comparative study of the canon reveals a high degree of intertextualit y in Augustan works and to a certain extent expectation and how it i s being played with can be determined in a how an author treats an allusion to another work. This kind of understanding demands a scholarly dedication to these works outside the range of t he average person. With the classics taking an ever diminishing role in basic curriculum, fewer and fewer people have the breadth of knowledge necess ary to see this web of relations In short there are many factors that make difficult the moderns recepti vity to the logopoeia of the Augustan age. Already difficult to translate from one contemporaneous language to another, its effects are further dampened by generations of cultural shifts and redevelopments. J.P. Sullivan describes the scholarly means to ac commodate for this gap, setting it up as dichotomous to poetic aims:


! $" The critical irrelevance therefore of Pounds rage against academic scholars and of the rage of academics against Pound is clear. In Frasers words: Academic scholars are able to get an objective view of a text by dissociating it a far as possible from their own contemporary sensibility, which is what the poetic cr itic and translatordare not do. (Sullivan 22). The t wo means are not so opposed as Sullivan suggest s Zukofsky contrasts Po unds method with that of the conventional academic and emphasizes that they are not exclusive of one another: Only speech transforms whatever skeleton remains of the past and conveys judgment of it to the intelligence. Try as a poet may for objectivity, for the past to relive itself, not for his living the historical data, he can do only one of two things: get up a most brief catalogue of antiquities (people become dates, epitaphs), or use the catalog and breathe upon it, so that it lives as his music. Th is latter action need not falsify the catalog. (Ezra Pound 73). Zuko f s ky aptly notes the need for the poetic method to make use of the catalog established through the academy. However he emphasizes the speech act and echoes Pounds katabatic conception of the poet as physical medium. The poet must breathe upon it, so that it lives in his music It is through his breath that the past is animated and it is his music that it is sustained. Zukofskys criticism echoes Pounds own 1919 epistolary defense o f Homage to A.R. Orage : My job was to bring a dead man to life, to present a living figure ( Letters


! $# 149). In fulfillment of this job is an attention to modern English that Pound claims is absent in the traditional approach of the classicist. Indeed with in in a few lines Pound gives the same critique of Hale as that of Milton: He [Hale] ignores English (ibid. 149 ). In Pounds case, bringing the dead man to life entails transmitting a stylized poetic technique tied to the flux of everyday use, into the f oreign tongue of an industrialized society. Through luminous detail great literature is purported to transcend its historical context. However throughout Pounds writing on the matter and his marked concern with timelessness, he ceaselessly insists that the poet engage with his own time, his own language, one present moment. Whether in composition or experience it is the fixed historicity of any poem or work of art that make it transcendent; it is the right confluence of political, natural, and linguisti c forces through the v irt at a specific moment: An Image is that which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time: it is the presentation of such a complex instantaneously which gives that sense of sudden liberation; that sen se of freedom from time limits and space limits; that sense of sudden growth, which we experience in the presence of great works of art. ( A Retrospect 4). Pound is certainly not alone in this conclusion. Working within the discipline the Homage railed ag ainst Karl Galinsky strikes a similar note: The very fact that Augustan poetry transcends its own times and is intent on reader participation means that each generation interprets such classical


! $$ works differently. At the same time, it is important not to project modern sensibilities blithely back into antiquity. We must differentiate between our personal response, conditioned as it is by our culture, and the determination of the meaning of the literary work in the milieu social, political, and cultural in which it was written. In that sense my approach to the Augustan poets is historical. We are dealing not with exclusive categories but with a typical mutuality; as we have seen, the transcendence of their poetry is directly related to the specific hi storical moment at which they wrote their works ( Galinsky 245). The poet and the scholar serve different functions and have different agendas. Pounds allegiance is to English and the modern world. His construction of meaning is a poetic one that emphasiz es transcendent qualities of a text and it potential effect on modern language rather than its ability to grant us insight into the past. Galinsky acknowledges a transcendent quality within great texts but looks beyond these to see the ways in which the te xt can grant the modern a more complete understanding of the ancient world. Pounds depiction of Propertius is perhaps inaccurate by a Classicists standard, but then their definitions of accuracy and meaning are different.


! $% C h a p t e r 2 Pounds showcasing of Propertius ironical play, his logopoeia, constitutes a real contribution to classical scholarship. Evidenced by the bewilderment over the tone of the Homage by supporters and detractors alike, there was little recognition of Propertius humor before p ublication of the Homage However this aspect of Propertius Pound felt intuitively has largely been confirmed by contemporary scholarship. The failure of 19 t h and 18 t h century academes to perceive Propertius wit stem from two central causes: Romantic misr eadings of the work that attempt to fit Propertius project into their own conception of authenticity and the extensive corruption present in Propertius manuscript tradition. Breaking down how these phenomena obfuscate the poetry while providing the cultu ral and literary expectations necessary to perceive logopoeia, situates the Homage and show how Pound, despite his idiosyncratic and incomplete understanding of Augustan culture, attains a degree of accuracy in the Homage P r o p e r t i u s C u l t u r a l C o n t e x t Liv ing from around 49 to 16 BC, Propertius is of the generation immediately following the collapse of the Republic (Conte 331) He was born in Umbria and like many Latin poets was of equestrian rank. His family suffered land losses in the Perusine war and it is likely that Propertius following transplant to Rome was not a comfortable one. He underwent basic schooling but by the year 29 BC it is evident that Propertius spent more time in literary circles than pursuing a career in law. Propertius enjoyed


! $& re lative popularity in his life and there is evidence that the Monobiblios his first book of poetry, was a popular gift in the years following his death 7 The bulk of his poetry builds on Hellenistic forms to narrate a love affair with a single woman. These tropes are not unique to Propertius. They are definitive characteristics of Latin elegy. Conte places Propertius demise ar ound 16 BC because his last book of poetry, Book IV, mentions no events taking place after this year, however Margaret Hubbard bring s up the excellent point that we cannot expect all poets to write poetry until the point of their demise 8 Ultimately there is no verifiable date of death. Propertius is a part of what has been coined The Golden Age of Latin literature. A disproportiona te amount of canonical Romans were writing during this time including Horace, Virgil, Tibullus, and Ovid. This blooming of literary production can be attributed to a number of factors. Under the reign of Augustus Rome enjoyed stability after nearly a cent ury of civil war. This peace simply afforded the upper class more time to for leisurely pursuits in the arts. A perhaps less organic factor is the calculated patronization of the arts by the Augustan regime; Maecenas, a kind of minister of culture for Aug ustus, funded Virgil, Horace, and even Propertius at certain points in their careers. 9 Imperial patronage of the arts is a part of a grander project. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 7 The presence of Book I along with works by Virgil and Livy in Martials versified gift catalogue suggests that at least a portion of his work had won the status of a popular classic ( Butrica 19). 8 Hubbard, Margaret. Propertius 9 The most important literary impresario of the generation after Caesar was not Pollio or Mesalla but C. Maecenas, one of Augustus right hand menVirgil, Horace, and Propertius all apparently only started to enjoy Maecenas patronage when their literary careers were well under way. Power at Rome was gradually becoming concentrated in single pair of hands and the effects of this proce ss were felt in literature as well as the rest of the wider world ( Morgan 80).


! $' Roman s had always been self conscious over the extent of Greek influence. 10 Augustus was aware of this te nsion and, from the very beginning of his career, worked to foster a sense of R oman identity distinct from and superior to the Greeks. Contrasting himself and by extension Rome with the decadent Greeks and their admirers helped justify and solidify his rul e: Antonys appeal was imaginative, romantic, and personal. He could easily be made to seem adventurous, radical, dangerous, and even foreign. Octavian was in effect perhaps more radical still, but able to draw to himself all the weight of Roman traditio n: social, political, and intellectual. He was on the side of the Roman state, the Roman family, and the Roman gods, and at Actium in 31 B.C. these combined to put to flight Antony, Cleopatra, and the barbarians of the East. (Kennedy 380) The cultivation o f a Roman literature after the civil war was part in parcel with this aim. However this new literature was not propaganda in the sense that moderns know it. The relationship between poet and patron was far more dynamic. 11 Despite enjoying Imperial !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 10 Llewelyn Morgan notes the complexity of the Romes relationship with Greece i n her discussion of the poetry of the Late Republic: The Romans recognized the irony: a race t hey had conquered had come to dominated them culturally. As the poet Horace put it captive Greece made a captive of her rough invader, and brought the arts to rustic Latium (Latium is the area around Rome, modern Lazio). Romes attitude to Greece was in consequence complex. A strong vein of anti Greek prejud ice persisted even amongst the R oman aristocrats. Respect for their artistic achievements vied with contempt for their (perceived) lack of Roman qualities of military ability and administrative effic acy ( 53 54). 11 After Actium, then, a period of concord and reconstruction begins. Augustus and Maecenas do not seem to have exercised a genuine control over literatureWhat we call Augustan ideology is certainly not the mechanical product of a ministry of propaganda that directly controls writers pens; it is a political cultural cooperation in which the poets often play an active, individual role. The new ideology produces works of extraordinary


! $( patronag e, Propertius pr ivate and decidedly elegiac themes run counter to Augustus attempts at culture reform: The book [the Monobibllos ] opens up with the name of Cynthia, and the fascination exerted by the cultivated, refined woman upon the young man in love animates, more or less directly, all the elegies of this first book. An autobiographical poem, or rather a testimonial of a generation and a milieu, of this sort does not go along with an interest in civil society and in the new political arrangement that Octavian was creating at Rome in the wake of his victory at Actium. (Conte 320) Later readers of Propertius and the elegists interpret this ideological discordance as political dissidence. 12 Catullus verbal abuse of Caesar, notable enough to be mentioned i n Suetonius biography, and Ovids exile during the end of Augustus regime encourage such characterizations. 13 However Propertius, sandwiched between these two poets, had a sponsored place in Roman society despite his private and subversive subject matter. Morgan contextualizes Propertius role in Maecenas circle with a description of Propertius audience: Propertius is self consciously immoral, and this helps to suggest to us the nature of his relationship with his audience: it is an audience which, as !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!! classical balance, such as Horaces Odes and Virgils mast erpieces, yet it is not a stable formation without contradictions ( Conte 251). 12 Pound especially falls into this camp: I may perhaps avoid charges of further mystification and obscurity by saying that it [ the Homage ] presents certain emotions as vital t o men faced with the infinite and ineffable imbecility of the British Empire as they were to Propertius some centuries earlier, when faced with the infinite and ineffable imbecility of the Roman empire ( Sullivan 10). 13 Catullus: (Poetry of the Late Repu blic Morgan, 69). Ovid: (Conte, 257).


! $) wi th all the poetry of this period, enjoys a literary game, and which recognizes (and takes pleasure in the fact) that what poets say about themselves need only bear a v ery oblique relation to reality. (Morgan 95) Morgans description of this interplay echoe s Pounds definition of logopoeia, even highlighting the sophisticated audience necessary for it to function. However he does not grant Propertius the same unique status as Pound, but argues that all Latin poets of the era engaged in such games. 14 The defin ed place Morgan affords Propertius elegy in the empire undercuts Pounds characterization of the poet as a political revolutionary. As an elegist Propertius enjoyed a vaulted if ambiguous place in society that was dependent on the imperial order. 15 This pl ace in society was partially justified by elegys strong historical precedent. 16 The long history of elegy and its continuous transformations throughout, render a !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 14 In contrast to the academes of Pounds day, contemporary scholarship has largely reached a consensus that such allusiveness was a common feature of all Augustan literature. More focus has been given to the nature o f the poets audience: Like Augustan art, it [literature] delighted in being a complex mixture of different traditions, many of them Greek, which provided an unprecedented range of allusiveness and resonance. As the most immediate and available predecesso r, Hellenistic poetry with its elegance, learning and sophistication was more than congenial. Accordingly, the ideal audience for Augustan poets possessed similar qualities and such an audience would be able to appreciate the full extent of the poetrys as sociative wealth ( Galinsky 229). 15 There is no necessary, immediate conflict between the official ideology and the elegiac ideology; rather, there is a certain division of roles. The poet can address Augustus gratefully as the one who assures peace and rules the state securely. Thanks to the person who is concerned about serious thing s love at last can be the only serious thing ( Conte 256). 16 Love elegy had originated with Cornelius Gallus, whose poetry, has almost completely disappeared. But we kn ow enough about it to see that, young as the genre was, Propertius was already working within a set of rules and conventions ( Morgan 94).


! $* fixed definition of the genre as a whole impossible. 17 Latin elegy, however, was a rather shor t lived but cohesive phenomenon that, though distinctly new, used forms and themes long familiar to the Mediterranean. The genre flourished through the late 1 s t century and early 2 n d century AD in the Augustan era and is, as far as the canon is considered, mostly li mited to that timeframe (Conte 321). Ovid, Tibullus, and Propertius, all writing within fifty years of one another, are the canonical elegists. Latin elegy written in later years did not enjoy the same popularity and seems to have made little in novation past the paradigm of its initial gestation: the end point of elegys development comes with Ovid ( 270). The Latin elegi s ts are particularly indebted to Catullus: He [Catullus] had treated his Lesbia (the poetic name of Clodia) as a unique, domi nant mistress to whom he was subordinated like a slave This new emotional approach determined the tone in which later elegists would compose their real or fictiti ous loves around a single woman. (Conte 105) All elegists write of a tumultuous relationship between the poet speaker and a central female figure. The ups and downs of the relationship are often set against mythic or pastoral backdrops. Latin elegies are uniform in their brevity and the sole use of the elegiac couplet. These forms and tropes are a n extension of the project of the Hellenistic epigrammatists. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 17 Discussion of the origin and development of elegy in Western poetry is complicated by major shifts in definition a nd has been limited in the past by a failure to distinguish between the elegiac as a mode, or motive, and the several species of elegy within that mode ( The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, Bloomfield 322).


! %+ T h e H e l l e n i s t i c E p i g r a m m a t i s t s Whether through citation, translation, or imitation both Catullus and the elegists engaged with the Hellenistic epigrammatists in their work. Poem Ca tullus 66 for example is a translation of a Callimachus poem. 18 Propertius refers to himself as the Roman Callimachus and directly invokes him in the opening of poem III.1: Callimachi manes et Coi sacra Philitae, Investrum, quaeso, me sinite ire nemus Primus ego ingredior pur de fonte sacerdos Itala per Graios orgia ferre choros. Dicite, quo pariter Carmen tenuastis in antro? Quoue pede ingressi? Quamue bibistis aquam? ( Propertius 101) Ghost of Callimachus and shrines of Coan Philetas, I pray you let me walk in your grove: I, the first to enter, a priest of the pure fountain, to celebrate Italian mysteries to the rhythms of Greece. Tell me in what alley did you ent er? Which waters did you drink? (Kline 93) Catullus and the Roman elegists, especially Propertius, all self identify as an extension of Callimachus A n understa nding of Hellenistic epigrams is an integral part of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 18 Poem 66, Catullus version o f a poem in honour of an Egyptian queen from Kallimachos most influential work, the Causes emphatically advertises the Roman poets literary affiliations ( Morgan 66).


! %" understanding Augustan poetry as a whole. 19 The most obvious connection between the two traditions is in meter. The epigrammatists favored elegiac couplets but did not adhere to it so doggedly as Propertius and his peers. Though the creation of the elegiac couplet far predates the Hellenists use of it, the Roman s adoption of the meter was likely through them. The elegiac couplet or elegos is comprised of alternating hexameter and pentameter lines. 20 The meter originated in Ionia in the seventh century B.C and is thought to have started as a form for funeral dirges. In the coming centuries its possible connotations would be stretched and the meter was used throughout the Greek world for a variety of purposes. Elegiac couplets could express sentiments on everything from war and politics to love and myth. 21 The epigrammatists expanded the possibilities of the meter in the 3 r d and 2 n d century B.C. 22 Epigram started as simple inscriptions carved into various statues, tombstones, and public monuments. Through the artistry of its later practitioners it became a respected literary form that could be appreciated independently of its decora tive function: They continued to write traditional sepulchral and dedicatory epigrams, though these were expanded into modified types, such as ek phrastic epigrams on objects of art or poems to celebrate a victory or to accompany !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 19 But in fact the poetry of Callimachus, more than any other Greek figure, animated t he personal tone and complex allusiveness of Latin poetry in the late Republican and August era ( Gutzwiller 61). 20 Oxford Companion to Classical Literature 156 21 Conte, 321: special emphasis is given to the idea of weeping 22 The elegiac couplet, consisti ng of a dactylic hexameter followed by a shorter five foot pentameter, underwent a similar development toward refinement in the third century ( Gutzwiller 38).


! %# a giftImportantly the new literary character of Hellenistic epigrams is closely tied to the emergence of the first author edited poetry books, a phenomenon of the third century. Inscriptional and occasional epigrams, when gathered by a poet into an ordered arrangement on a papyrus scroll, were naturally viewed by readers from the distanced perspective that constitutes an aesthetic reading rather than simply as sources of informati on about real persons of events. (Gutzwiller 108) It is distinguished by its brevity and obscure mythol ogical references. Attached to this obscurity is an undercurrent of elitism; the epigrammatists were often scholars by trade working in the famed library of Alexandria. Openly disdainful of the masses in their poetry, they wrote for the small segment of th e population learned enough to grasp their esoteric allusions. Callimachus is one of the more influential epigrammatists and, just ahead of Philetas, the most cited by Propertius. He was active in the 3 r d and 2 n d century BCE, worked in the Library of Al exandria, and enjoyed popularity and royal patronage in his time. 23 Reputed to have written over 800 poems, Callimachus touched o n many themes using different the r hyth ms and meters (Gutzwiller 62). A rejection of the epic form pervades his hymns and epigra ms in both form and content. The hymns praise various deities in the vein of the Homeridae 24 but differ from the ancient tradition in their allusive citation of myths related to the core narrative. Callimachus hymns rarely exceed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 24 Homeridae literally means sons of Homer Writing on the Island of Chiros in the generatio ns immediately following Homer, these poets are known for their hymns to various deities.


! %$ 300 lines. His epigrams t ouch upon a wider range of themes. Myth, opinions on poetry, erotic love, and tombstone inscriptions are particularly prevalent in the epigrams. He is most known for his long poem the Aetia : This long poem in elegiac couplets consisted of a series of dis connected aetiologies ( Gut zwiller 62). The elegists adopted all these characteristics for their purposes. They were particularly influenced by his rejection of epic. In Hymn to Apollo Callimachus contrasts epic with his favored form of poetry. Most of the poem is a typical ode recounting Apollos magnificence in deed and stature. It is in the conclusion that Callimachus touches on his poetics of brevity and precision: And Envy whispered in Apollos ear: I am charmed by the poet who swells like the s ea. But Apollo put foot to Envy and said: The River Euphrates has a powerful current but the water is muddy and filled with refuse. The Cult of the Bees brings water to Deo but their slender libations are unsullied and pure, the trickling d ew from a holy springs height. (Callimachus 10 ) For Callimachus it comes down to the question of quality versus quantity. Different forms of water symbolize the epic and short form in this poem. The Assyrian river mentioned by Apollo is the Euphrates. Apollos m ention of this Asiatic river is meant to invoke the Iliad set in the East, and other epic poems that have hundreds of verses. Implicitly Apollo rejects the form because it is unwieldy and in its great size


! %% contains imperfections, filth of the earth and m uch refuse In contrast the short poem is a small stream that allows for purity and precision. Thus, at least within Callimachus poetics, it is the crown of waters Propertius adopted many Callimachean themes in his work. Though he refers to him self a s the Roman Callimachus, the Roman part of the title is equally if not more important than the latter half. Propertius is putting the Greek form through a distinctly Roman filter and there are innovations in Augustan elegy not found in their Greek models T h e A r t i f i c e a n d O r i g i n a l i t y o f R o m a n E l e g y From the time Antiquity began to be conceived as such, a distan t period placed in contrast to the present Greek writing has been thought of as superior or perhaps purer than Latin poetry. Especially dur i ng the Romantic period of the 19 t h and 18th century, Romans are characterized as rather brutish imitators who, outside the technical achievements of war and engineering, were largely incapable of originality or true art: We encounter the subtle yet per vasive influence of anti Romanism in one of the central texts of the high Romantic period, Fri edrich Schillers essay On Nai ve and Sentimental Poet r y There we are told, among many other things, that even Rome in all its splendour, except it be transfig ured by the imagination, is a limited greatness, and therefore a subject unworthy of poetry, which, raised above every trace of the actual, ought only to mourn over what is infinite Schillers criticism is aimed at Ovids exile poetry, and there is a spe cific point being made about the transcendent power of


! %& the imagination; but it is characteristic of Schillers rhetoric that the negative example is drawn from Latin literature, and not from the writing of the Greeks, whose impatient imagination, he repo rts, only traverses nature to pass beyon d it to the drama of human life. (Habinek 15 16) Characterizations like Schillers stem from very narrow conception of poetry. In it poetry must aspire to the infinite though the term is never clearly defined. Mor e ancient works like those of Homer and Sappho are more highly valued because they are somehow closer to this ideal of infinity than later works. This Romantic attitude towards the two traditions remained prominent well after the metaphysical attitudes it was contingent on fell out of favor. It is misguided to compare the two traditions in such a way let alone assign value judgments like Schillers. The establishment of Greece and Romes respective literary traditions took place in very different time peri ods and circumstances. The works of Homer and Hesiod were composed in the murky period between oral and written traditions. Living in an agrarian society with a relatively cohesive worldview, the early Greek poets were afforded religious status with key wo rks functioning more like sacred texts than art. 25 Foundational Roman writers like Virgil and Catullus lived in a very different world. Cultural diffusion came with Roman domination of the Mediterranean; the Roman poets lived in a cosmopolitan society that harbored increasingly diverse spiritual beliefs and practices. Thus they naturally were not afforded the same kind of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 25 I t is important not to overemphasize the locality of the archaic Greek poets. Such characterizations are themselves a Romantic misreading. It is one Pound himself f ell victim to: The Greeks had no world outside, no empire, metropolis, etc. etc. ( The Letters of Ezra Pound 90). Within the works of the archaic Greeks there are a myriad of geographically diverse influences; the push towards a pan hellenist literature we see in Homer shows great engagement with the world outside if on a smaller scale than the Augustans.


! %' religious status granted their Greek models. Written tradition had existed for centuries and not everyone believed in the gods they were still expected to invoke. Roman poets, particularly those of the Augustan era, were forced in their composition to navigate a new tension between secular private life and the social world of the state. Ironically Romantics interpreted Roman s engagement wi th this tension as a sign of inauthenticity or a lack of true feeling. The supposed artifice of the Romans, their natural reflexivity and wry detachment, did not fit within the Romantic paradigm of the sublime. Though critics have not always had the cultu ral understa nding to perceive it, the Roman s lack of an overarching cosmology forced poets to relate with myth and society in strikingly innovative ways that, far from being inauthentic, are indicative of a natural and creative engagement with their shift ing society. However Romantic misreadings are not completely to blame for failure to perceive this originality, the self conscious Romans often failed to identify it themselves. Despite Roman dominance, Greek remained the lingua franca in the realms of art science, and medicine. Aesthetically inclined Romans saw a gap between their achievements and the much older and extensive literary tradition of the Greeks. Roman poets of course took advantage of this resource and, in their drive to develop their voice were imitative of old Greek models and meters: For the Romans, Greek culture, like the Greek population and Greek material wealth, was a colonial resource to be exploited and expropriated; to the extent that Greek culture was admired, it was as much for its potential to augment Roman power as for any immane nt qualities or characteristics. (Habinek 35)


! %( Though characterized as derivative, imitation was for the Romans a distinctly active and creative act and they called attention to it with particular gusto in their work. By the Augustan period it was almost requisite to champion a Greek predecessor to validate ones project. 26 This practice has made many, perhaps in the spirit of Schiller, overemphasize indebtedness to Greek models and hesitant to recognize t he Romans originality. A popular theory espoused by F. Leo went so far a s to create hypothetical lacuna of what Conte calls Hellenistic subjective erotic elegy that the Roman elegists appropriated (332). However there is little evidence of any kind for Leos lost Greek genre and theories of this nature are no longer in fashion. Roman elegists are now understood to borrow extensively from the Hellenistic writers of epigram but are differentiated from influences through their interplay of subjective experi ence and myth, and the spectrum of irony this interplay opens up. These techniques and tones in poetry have no strong Greek precedent and Catullus is the first lasting poet to dabble in the mode. Lyne writes that the seed of this technique is found in t he writings of Catullus: The Alexandrian Greeks poets had perfected the art of allusive subjectively told myths in elegiacs. None, however, had used it systematically and explicitly like this to illuminate their own current feelings ( Lyne 61). Lynes cho ice of the word feelings attests to the traditional and in my opinion misguided attention he gives to the question of authenticity in the work of elegists, but the gist of his deduction holds true if one !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 26 It is characteristic of the older poets of the Augustan age to boast a peculiar kind of originality, the conquest for Roman literature of a genre already perfected in Greek. The claim did not originate with them; it is present already in the boast of Ennius (about 200 B.C.) to be the reincarnation of Homer, the first Roman who had climbed the cliffs of the Muses and bothered about perfection of sty le ( Hubbard 68).


! %) substitutes sentiment of the speaker for curre nt feelings of the author The speaker is a construct whose thoughts and feelings do not necessarily correspond to those of the author. Lyne is always looking for the connection between the personal emotions of the poet and the work itself, going so far as to order the chronological progression of Latin love poetry (from Catullus to Propertius to Ovid) as one of decreasing sincerity. For Lyne, Catullus central female figure, Lesbia, was undoubtedly a real woman with whom Catullus was wildly in love. On t he other end of the spectrum Lyne posits that Ovids Corrina is, a complete fabrication. Thus Ovids work is devoid of the true feeling we find in Catullus. This kind of delineation is not particularly productive because it is not a reflection of their con ception of poetry: In this modern scholars are more naiv e than ancient critics, who like Petronius, distinguish firmly between history and poetry and thus by implication between biographical facts and literary creation. Sincerity for them is a function o f style; no specific or necessary connections are to be made between personal poetry and personal experience. The point is obvious with Ovid, but is also highly relevant to the love poetry of Propertius. The Roman love poets must be judged as individual po ets, not as exemplars of a single stream passionate poetry which becomes progressively more diluted as we move from Catullus to Tibullus, from Tibullus to Propertius, and from Propertius to Ovid This tradition is not one of diminishing degrees of emotiona l sincerit y and seriousness. (Sullivan 39)


! %* There has been a great deal of time and paper dedicated to lining up the scant historical data we have about Clodia, the woman thought to be basis for Catullus Lesbia, with Catullus poetry. Lyne opens up a simil ar line of inquiry with Propertius correlating a woman named Hostia, whom we know almost nothing about, with Propertius Cynthia. This kind of research stems from a Romantic correlating of authenticity of feeling with quality of work. The ancients, especia lly the Romans did not think this way: The tradition in which Catullus wrote called instead for the artful projection of an image or persona literally a mask behind which the poet manipulates the tools of poetic rhetoric ( Garrison, xi). Theirs is a soci ety for whom rhetoric, a practice that values the ability to persuade regardless of the veracity of ones point, is the most widely used form of discourse. In rhetoric the speaker was expected to take on different personas to illustrate their desired poin t. In many cases a piece of writing was valued more for its symmetry and efficacy rather than its sincerity. In Augustan Rome there was little distinction between rhetoric and literary criticism, and it was through rhetorical training in youth that most Ro mans first encountered poetry. 27 The extent to which rhetoric shaped a Romans conception of any speech act cannot be overemphasized. M any rhetorical structures are !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 27 Classical rhetoricians that is, teachers or rhetoric recognized that many features of their subject could be found in Greek literature before the invention of rhetoric as an academic discipline, and they frequently used rhetorical concepts in literary criticism. Conversely, the teaching of rhetoric in the schools, ostensibly concerned primarily with training in public address, had a significant effect on written compositionbeginning in the last three centuries BC, much Greek and La tin literature is overtly rhetorical in that it was composed with a knowledge of classical rhetor ical theory and shows its influences ( A Ne w History of Classical Rhetoric Kennedy 4).


! &+ evident throughout Propertius work 28 Formal rhetorical structures within Propertius poetry bring a sense o f irony to occasionally melodramatic content: Awareness of this makes it easier to see how in this poem to o Propertius is undercutting wha t he formally presents: the elegy starts as a little speech, whose theme is elaborated with the elega nt formality that would remind any educated Roman of his elementary exercises in rhetoric, but it turns to mock its own elegance. (Hubbard 22) Lynes fixation with sincerity in examining Propertius elegies seems less plausible when one considers this rhe torical angle. Moderns will never know how Catullus or Propertius truly felt by looking at their poems. We do know that the speaker expresses a sentiment that functions with other parts of the poem. Lynes observations about the interplay between mythic ci tations the speaker and his identification of Catullus as the originator of the technique, however, hold fast independently of his Romantic fixation with authenticity. For the purposes of this project the poets name will be interchangeable with the term speaker in explication. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 28 Kennedy notes that the appearance of rhetorical structures in Latin p oetry is often, perhaps presumptuously, read as indicative of rhetorical aims: In pursuit of persuasion, Greek rhetoriticians constructed an elaborate system of techniques of argument, arrangement, style and the like. The presence of these secondary chara cteristics in literature is often taken to be proof of the presence of rhetoric itself ( 385).


! &" C a r m i n a C a t u l l i a n d t h e F o u n d a t i o n o f R o m a n E l e g y Catullus lived during the Late Republic and was of equestrian rank. 29 He can be conceived of as the connective tissue between the elegists and Callimachus. The elitist underton es in Callimachus work, largely thought of in relation to the Ptolemaic royal hierarchy, are transformed by Catullus. Catullus elitism manifests itself as an elevation of personal pleasure and refined taste over the soc ial domain. His personal preoccupat ions are in conflict with traditional Roman custom that glorifies service to the state and views passionate love as a kind of contagion to be avoided: From a conventional point of view the kind of obsessive love affairs Catullus involved himself in were, as Cicero puts it, no different, or not far different, from madness (Morgan 71). Catullus championing of a life of eros and otium throughout his poetry forms the basis for the elegiac ideology of the Augustan era. The elegists attraction to Catullus otium can be contextualized in relation to their life experiences without falling into Lynes trap of autobiography as exegesis. Karl Galinsky usefully categorizes the Augustan writers by generation. He notes that Virgil (70 B.C.), Horace (65 B.C.), Maece nas (70 B.C.), and Augustus (63 B.C.) were all born within the same eight years and casts their conservative views in relation to the traumatic experiences they experienced during the disintegration of the Republic and the rise of the first triumvirate (Ga linsky 226) Because they can contextualize their current experiences !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 29 Chronology, identifications of persons, and other biographical details are often conjectural, and so open to dispute It is generally believed that he was b orn about 84 B.C. and died young, in about 54. He came from a prominent family based in Verona, in what was then Cisalpine Gaul ( Garrison xi).


! &# in relation to the Republic and because poetry is an expected form for moral teaching there is a sense of restoration in their work: Horace needed no Augustan legislation to remind tha t concern with morality wa s one of the concerns of poetry Contrary as it may be to modern sensibility, the moral purpose of poetry was perfectl y legitimate in Greece and Rome. (Conte 226) Meanwhile both Propertius and Tibullus were born around 50 BC. Onl y children during Caesars death in 44 B.C, they have no memory of the Republic or the first Triumvirate, only of the chaotic conflict between Octavian and Marc Antony. This partially explains the private, less publicly engaged aspect of their work. On a s urface level Virgils generation is pining for the restoration of traditional Roman values, while the elegists are championing a completely new value system that inverts traditional Roman priorities. The elegists reject service to the state, instead devoti ng all their energy to their art and the pursuit of a woman. In this woman they are looking for a complete love that simply did not exist at that time in Roman society. Love was not to be found in marriage. The marriage was more of a business arrangement. Outside of this the man was free to look for sexual gratification in the brothels or, on the rise since Catullus day, the courtesan. A kind of Greek import, the courtesan was a professional entertainer likely skilled in music and with some knowledge of th e literary arts. It was in a development of this figure that the elegists looked for their complete love. There is a sense of irony inherent to the elegiac aesthetic. The speaker rejects service to the state only to completely submit himself to the will o f a woman and though the poet refuses military


! &$ service, the language used to describe the courtship is often that of war. This kind of tension between sense and connotation runs throughout Latin Elegy and is created by a number of means. The evasive use o f mythic exempla is perhaps the most common method and it too is taken from Catullus. The vast majority of Catullus poems are contained dramas with little citation of myth. Poem 68 is unique. Present in this work is an intermingling of sentiment and mytho logical allusion that precedes the elegists. Catullus 68 is one of the longer poems, at 168 lines. I t begins as an epistolary poem meant to excuse Catullus failure to visit his dying brother who is abroad. Catullus does not have the means to visit him b ut speaks to his brother in song (all I could manage) (Lee 121). By the end of the poem Catullus has brought up a whole cast of characters from the epic cycle and cast them in relation to his own experience. Editors have thought the epistolary introducti on incongruous with the introduction and so divided the poem into two movements. The introductory section opens with the Catullan image of a loveless, empty bed describing his brothers condition. The first section communicates the past experiences and sen timents of the speaker. Catullus thanks his brother for housing him and Lesbia while they were traveling abroad. The second movement is a drastic shift in tone and content from the first; it is here we find the interplay of myth and individual experience d escribed by Lyne. In the second movement of poem # 68 Catullus switches from directly addressing his brother to praising him so that he might be remembered after his illness takes his life. Catullus creates mythic contrasts that elevate his brother Allius but still deal with his favored erotic themes. In line 66 71 Catullus praises his brother for hosting him and his mistress. Catullus nostalgia seamlessly transitions from the tryst at his brothers estate to


! &% the story of the faithful wife Laodima coming to the house of Protesilaus. What could be a brief simile is extended all the way up to Trojan War 30 Catullus expounds the horrors of Troy: Troia (nefas! ) commune sepulcrum Asiae Europaeque, Troia virum et v irt tutm ominum acerba cinis ( Line 89) Troy (hor ror!), common grave of Europe and Asia, Troy, bitter ash of men and every manly v irt e!(Lee 118). At line 91 we leave the world of myth and return to Allius condition. Allius impending death abroad is conflated with the mass deaths of Troy. Personal g rief is given epic stature and Allius is imbued with heroic status. Throughout the poem s remaining lines Catullus employs the same techniques. The world of myth, in this case the war with Troy, comingles with the internal state of the speaker. Lyne, Quin n, and Conte all regard 68 as a clunky poem but one foundational to the elegiac aesthetic. In Catullus # 68 autobi ography and myth mingle, but it is only to reinforce the sentiments the speaker wants to convey. The elegists use mythological citation in more varied ways. Propertius especially is using mythic citation to elevate, complicate, or even undercut the sentiments of the speaker, something not seriously explored by the Hellenistic writers or Catullus. Using this allusion this way is a form of co nceit. The elegists often only play at sincerity. If one embraces the conceit of the elegists a large field of new interpretations opens up. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 30 Protesailus was the first to die at Troy. Laodima famously killed her self as result. Catullus expected his au dience to be familiar with the myth and does not directly address the event.


! && T h e T o n e o f P r o p e r t i u s Four books of Propertius elegies have been preserved from antiquity and the ordering of their publication seems to directly correlate with the order of their composition (Conte. 331 332) In his work Propertius develops and embellishes the paradigmatic themes of elegy established by Catullus. Like Catullus Lesbia, Cynthia is learned and beautiful. She sporadically oscillates between devotion and rejection of Propertius. The range of emotions this push and pull incites coupled with the connections Propertius sees between them and myth form the body of his early poems. Propertius style is characteriz ed as being particularly unique: Of all of them [Augustan poets], Propertius is often characterized as the most difficult. The reason is his unique style and thought: he freely associates both verbally and visually and he juxtaposes verses wi thout elaboration, leaving it to the reader to grasp the connecting train of thought. He compresses and reworks conventional expressions, and creates new verbal connections that result in the changed mea ning or significance of a word. ( Galinsky 235) Such d escriptions of Propertius are common if contentious. Excluding those lucky discoveries of papyri preserved from antiquity, moderns receive Augustan poetry through the filter of the scribes that copied them; it is a filter that often obscures. Textual corru ption occurs when the scribes through misunderstanding or even the desire to improve alter the original Latin without note. Propertius poetry lent itself to such corrections:


! &' The manuscript tradition of Propertius is much worse than that of most Latin poets. As it presents us with a difficult poet whose words can sometimes be hardly forced into sense, its text is not the one known to the ancient world. ((Hubbard 3) There is clearly damage. However the extent of this damage is up to debate. Those study ing Propertius over the past two centuries frequently reach one of two opposing conclusions. One camp argues that the disunities in the poetry are symptomatic of serious damage done to the text over the millennia. Scholars like A.E. Housman assert that t ranscribers, either through a poor understanding of Latin or a desire to try their own hand at elegiacs, corrupted the original poetry of Propertius. Housman and those influenced by him would attempt to undo these corruptions through emendations and trans positions based on stemmatic study of the manuscripts. The other camp suggests that though there is clearly textual damage, Housman and his followers exaggerate its extent. This approach often explains the breaking of Aristotelian unities in the text as p art of Propertius poetic project. Some go far as to call them a precedent for the avant garde aesthetics of the 20 t h century. Despite the brevity with which it is addressed, Quintilians ranking of the elegists acts as a baseline for many scholars dis cussing Propertius. Born in Hispania around 38 AD, Quintilian became an influential Roman rhetorician. His critical work on oratory was a touchstone for medieval and renaissance thinkers. In the Institutio Oratorio Quintilian gives an overview of the eleg ists: We challenge the Greeks in elegy too. Here the most polished and choice writer is, I think, Tibullus; others prefer Propertius. Ovid is less pruned than either and Gallus is harsher ( Hubbard 2)


! &( Some have posited that Quintilian places Propertius below Tibullus because his work was not in line with classical aesthetics. Poems in the Elegos frequently break the dramatic unity thought essential to poetry of the time. His poetry, especially after Book I, is characterized by abrupt shifts in addressee and narrative content. These shifts were so alien to later classicists studying his work that they explained them away as corruptions of the true text even in specific cases where there was little evidence of mutilation. His Latin is difficult and idiosyn cratic. It is clear that misguided scribes have altered the text by correcting what they mistakenly saw as grammatical errors. Making this identification even harder is the lack of division between poems from Propertius time: for Propertius (as for som e other classical Latin poets whose work consists of poems collected into books) the only separations transmitted from antiquity are the book divisions themselves (Heyworth xii). Determining where one poem ends and the next one begins is up to the editor or reader. In many cases the editor s taste for Aristotelian unities prompted them divide up a poem when there was no other evidence of textual mutilation. In Propertius: Modernist Poet of Antiquity D. Thomas Benediktson brings up A.E. Housman as an exam ple of this trend: On poem 3.7. for example, printed by Barber without a single transposition, Housman wrote: The verses of this elegy should be arranged thus : 1 10, 43 66, 17 and 18, 11 16, 67 70, 25 32, .He gives neither a justification for such revi sions nor an explanation of how the text became disfigured. (Benediktson 4) Benediktsons book essentially argues that though manuscripts of Propertius are certainly damaged they are not so corrupted as previously thought; scribes and scholars interpreted the abrupt shifts within the narrative content of the poem as evidence of


! &) lacunae but Benediktson asserts that in many cases these shifts are a part of Propertius project, a project more in line with the associative techniques of 20 t h century writers tha n the rhetoric centric structures of antiquity: Meaning in the standard analysis, consists of a harmonious working of the logical parts of a poem with the diction and figurative language in which the poem is expressed. All of this, of course, goes back to the classical rhetorical distinction, evident everywhere in Cicero, between things ( res ) and words ( verba )In Propertius, however, the structure is merely a vehicle of poetic movement and the majority of the meaning is conveyed by the texture; the reader i s left alone to make the logical connections of to generat e a deep structure for the poem. (30) B enedik ts on supports his argument by identifying instances where narrative continuity is lacking but hidden chiastic patterns show that they are parts of a whol e (he attempts to reconstruct A.E. Housmans treatment of poem 3.7 using just this method). Butrica lashes against Benedic t i ons argument and others like it in his essay Editing Propertius He argues that Propertius poetry was probably far more convent ional than moderns would like to believe and that the rough transitions are the product of extensive corruption. Like most dealing with Propertius, Butrica latches on to Quintilians brief assessment of the poet. Quintilian, a proponent of traditional cla ssical aesthetics if there ever was one, describes Propertius poetry as polished and elegant. Butrica asserts that the abrupt shifts in tense and subject matter that characterize the Propertius of our manuscripts would never have prompted such a descripti on from Quintilian. Butrica


! &* cites ancient graffiti preserved by the famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 to further support his argument. Several Propertius quotes have been found on walls around the ruins of Pompeii. Written within one hundred yea rs of Propertius death, these quotes are far more reliable than the archetype of Propertius manuscript tradition written in 1200 AD. The couplets that Butrica examines differ from the manuscripts and use more conventional forms of Latin (181) h Ultimatel y Butrica concludes that there is likely far more corruption than had been previously noted: A t the most conservative possible estimate, three out of six lines 50 percent contains at least one corruption; at the most extreme estimate, the number of corr uptions in our text could surpass the number of lines! By any objective standard a text with a corruption even in every second line has deteriorated significantly; it would seem that there could well be 2000 or so corruptions in the manuscripts rather than the approximately 600 recognized by Fedeli and Barber. (182) It is Butricas opinion that an editor of Propertius must actively hunt for lacunae and errors in the text. Where Benedik t s on argues the unity of contested poems in Book II, Butrica calls for a complete rereading of the book that does not accept the current division of the poems and instead looks for new possible sense breaks. Benediktson s criticism of Housman cannot well be applied to Butrica. Unlike Housman, Butrica gives in depth explanat ions of his transpositions and the initial observations made in Editing Propertius are expounded upon in detail in Butricas book The Manuscript of Tradition of Propertius Butrica deals with actual manuscripts more intimately than Benediktson who has ve ry little direct contact with the manuscript;


! '+ furthermore Butricas picture of Propertius is much more in line with the tropes and constraints of Augustan Elegy. However appealing it is to cast Propertius as an anomalous avant garde, it is far more likely that he wrote using structures familiar to his contemporaries with calculated breaches from convention. Many scholars who argue for less emendation and transposition cite the Homage ; thus Butrica unfairly implicates Pound in these manuscript wars. 31 Pound h owever talks very little about the anomalous qualities of Propertius Latin. Propertius is important for Pound because of his subtle subversion of familiar forms and rhetorical structures. Logopoeia is dependent on the initial appearance of normalcy, this characterization of Propertius is in reality far more in line with Butricas assessment. Propertius programmatic opening of Book II exemplifies his subversive use of rhetorical structures. It is essentially a justification of Propertius poetic practice couched in an apology, a typical rhetorical structure. In it is the wry self awareness that permeates the Elegos. The Monobiblios had already been released and Propertius has been granted a place in the literary circle of the principate, so it can be assu med that his audience is familiar with Propertius modus operandi. With the tumult of his relationship with Cynthia already thoroughly addressed it can now simply be alluded to allowing Propertius a fuller range of subject matter. In the first few lines of the poem Propertius explains to an unknown speaker, later identified as Maeceneas, why all of his poem are written from love: Quaeritis unde mihi totiens scribantur amores, unde meus veniat mollis in ora liber. (34) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


! '" You ask from where the passion come s from I write so much about, and this book, so gentle on the tongue. (Kline 34) Propertius explains that neither Calliope, the muse of epic, or Apollo whisper in his ear. Inverting the usual expectation Propertius explains that all of inspiration stems from a worldly yet terrible source: ingenium nobis ipsa puella facit. ( 34) A girl herself creates my talent. (my translation ) Propertius then veers from this dialogue into a typical description of Cynthias beauty. Every mundane task of Cynthia is imbue d with a divine grandeur and correlates with a form of poetry more respected than the elegiac. In rhetorical fashion these correlations increase in intensity as the poem continues. At its tipping point Propertius implies that Homeric epics spring from thei r copulation: sed nuda erepto mecum luctatur amictu, tum vero longas condimas Iliadas ( 34) Or if Naked she wrestles me, free of our clothes, then i n truth we make whole Iliads. (Kline 34) In line 17 Propertius briefly returns to the dialogue of the intr oduction. He identifies the speaker as Maecenas. This return only serves as a set up for another lengthy tangent. Propertius wants to tell Maecenas what he would write were he gifted by the right muse. What follows is a dense compression of myths that cont inues throughout the poem and completely ignores Maecenas until the poems conclusion.


! '# In the first part of this tangent Propertius assures that were he granted the talent he would not write of old Greek tales or even Roman history, but of the current Caes ars accomplishments and of Maecenas himself. Propertius describes some of the conquered lands of Rome in a handful of lines, but quickly draws a parallel between his grandstanding of these Roman figures and the fame of Achilles and Theseus achieved throug h the writing of Homer. This allusion is ironic. Propertius assures Maeceneas that he would not write of Greek myth but within his assurance cites these quintessential Greek heroes. Layers of such irony continue to develop as Propertius piles on more myt hic exempla Near the end of the poem Propertius returns to one of his pet themes: love as disease. He claims that love alone rejects the physicians skill. To cure him from this ailment is likened to relieving Prometheus or Tantalus from their endless tort ure. The poem maintains a rhetorical structure, circling back to a direct address of Maecenas that is couched opulent praise and false modesty: hoc si quis uitium poterit mihi demere, solus Tantaleae poterit tradere poma manu. dolia uirgineis idem ille re pleurit urnis, ne tenera assidua colla grauentur aqua; idem Caucasia solute de rupe Promethei brachia et a medio pectore pellet auem. Quandocumque igitur uitam me Fata reposcent, et breue in exiguous marmore nomen ero, Maecenas, nostrae spes inuidiosa iuue ntae, et uitae et morti Gloria iusta meae, si te forte meo ducet uia proxima busto, esseda caelatis siste Brittanna iugis,


! '$ taliaque illacrimans mutae iace uerba fauilliae: Huic misero fatum dura puella fuit. (36) If any one can take away my illness, he alone can put apples in Tantalus hand: hell fill urns from the virgin Danaids jars, lest their tender necks grow heavy with unloosed water; hell free Prometheus arms from Caucasian cliffs, and drive the vulture from my heart. So whenever the Fates de mand my life, and I end as brief name in slight marble, Maeceneas, the hope and envy of our youth, true glory of my death or life, if by chance your road takes you by tomb, halt your chariot with chased yoke, and as you weep, pen these words in the silent dust: A hard mistress was this wretchs fate. (Kline 35) The same disease that prevents Propertius from writing Maeceneas preferred poetry will cause his demise, though this claim is undercut by the numerous epic themes he has jus t visited before this shift. The initial claim that his and Cynt hias fornication spawns many I li ads complicates his apology. There is degree of removal from the mythic source material that is characteristic of Propertius. Propertius extreme compression of mythology in the f orm of lists creates a flippant air. This flippancy runs throughout Propertius earlier works. Despite the pull of the patron he will continue to takes the ethos of dedicated love from Catullus and embellishes it. 32 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 32 Propertius carries to an extreme and produces a rationale for that revolt already raised by Catullus, the rejection of the mos maiorum of the primacy of the value of the civ itias in favor of an existence totally dedicated to love This decided acceptance of his own different destiny, when contrasted with the leading ethical models of the day, in particular


! '% Where Catullus threatens Lesbia with sha me through his poetry, Propertius employs the threat of his inevitable death. Cicero describes romantic love as a kind of madness, for Propertius it is a contagion and he is terminally ill: tam tibi ne uiles isti uideantur ocelli, per quos saepe mihi cr edita perfida est! hos tu iurabas, si quid mentita fuisses, ut tibi suppositis exciderent minibus: et contra magnum potes hos atollere Solem? nec tremis admissae conscia nequitiae? quis te cogebat multos pallere colores et fletum inuitis ducere luminibus? quis ego nunc pereo, similes moniturus amantes: non ulllis tutum credere blanditiis! (Propertius 23) Dont let those eyes seem so worthless to you, in which your treachery was so often believed by me! You swore by them, that if youd ever been false, theyd vanish away when your fingers touched them. Can you then raise !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!! the moral degradation and corruption that stained public life, sometim es takes on the character of an almost philosophical life choice ( Conte 334).


! '& them to the vast sun, and not tremble, aware of your guilty sins? Who forced on you the pallor of your shifting complexion: who drew tears from unwilling eyes? Those are the eyes I now die for, to warn lovers such as me: No charms can ever be safely trusted! ( Kline 1.15) Propertius paradoxically lays out an ideology championing eternal devotion to a woman though it inevitably leads to death. He is, however, aware of this paradox and the speakers enraptured state is constantly undercut by anxiety over its inevitable loss; questioning Cynthias commitment to him over time the speaker asks: What if my youth were white with ages white hair and sagging wrinkles furrowed my brow ( I I.18, Kline 61). Such images of aging and decay are constant throughout Propertius work with frequent mention of shades, ruins and tombstones. Initially these recurring images can appear as mere macabre decoration, however they not only connect Propert ius work with elegys funereal origins but, on a deeper level, they enable Propertius to address his canonical concerns without breaking mood. Interplay between the ephemeral and the durable runs throughout the four books of elegy: The iron blades eaten away by rust and the flint by drops of water: but loves not worn away by a mistresss threshold if it stays to suffer and hear threats undeserved ( Kline 73, II.25). Initially the speakers love for Cynthia is held up as eternal, a timeless entity free f rom decay. However Cynthias presence gradually diminishes over the course of the four books as Propertius becomes increasingly interested in public rather than private themes: Cynthia, with her moods and loves, her desertions and rejections, is still at the


! '' center of the book [II]. But already, with the tenth elegy, poetic homage to the princeps and his triumphs slip in ( Conte 332). By the end of Book III Propertius formally renounces Cynthia to take up public works: nil moueuor lacrimis; ista sum ca ptus ab arte; semper ad insidias, Cynthia, flere soles. flebo ego discedens, sed fletum iniuria uincit: tu bene conueniens non sinis ire iugum. limina iam nostris ualeant lacrimantia uerbis nec tamen irata ianua fracta manu. at te celatis aetas grauis urge at annis et ueniat formae ruga sinistra tuae; exclusa inque uicem fastus patiare superbos, et quae fecisti cecinit mea pagina diras: euentum formae disce timere tuae. ( Propertius 145 146) Tears have no effect on me: I was ensnared by those wiles: Cynthia yo u only ever wept with guile. I will weep in departing, but insult overcomes tears: you would not allow the yoke to move in harmony. Now goodbye to the threshold weeping at my words: to the entrance never hurt by my hand in anger. But let ages weight burde n you with secret years and luckless lines furrow your features! May you long then to tear out you white hairs by their roots, ah, when the mirror rebukes you with your wrinkles, and may you in turn, rejected, suffer proud arrogance, and, changed to an old woman, regret your deeds! ( Kline 130)


! '( Unlike Cynthia, the theme of decay is constant. The same anxiety felt by the speaker over the transience of his romantic relationship is applied to his poetry. Book IV of Propertius elegies marks a drastic shift i n subject matter. Where in Books II and III we see apologies for not writing poetry of the state, Book IV is mostly taken up by publically minded origin poems in the vein of Callimachus Aetia This shift is made clear in Book IVs programmatic opening poe m: Wolf of Mars, the best of nurses to our State, what towers have sprung from you milk! Now to try and portray those towers in patriotic verse, ah me, how puny the sound that rises from my mouth! But however thin the streams that flow from my chest, it i s all in the service of my country. Let Ennius crown his verse with a shaggy garland: Bacchus hold out to me your leaves of ivy, so that my books might make Umbria swill with pride. Umbria fatherland of the Roman Callimachus. (Kline 132) Propertius brings back Callimachean symbolism in his correlation of poetry with flowing water. However the small stream of elegy, normally valued for its purity and precision is now characterized as puny, not fit for the momentous task before it. The anxiety of decay manif ests in the contrast between verse and the stone towers. Unlike his earlier work the speaker is not brought to the forefront. Most poems in Book IV stick to this trend, with


! ') Poem IV.7 being somewhat of an anomaly. Out of the eleven poems in Book IV it is o ne of only two to mention Cynthia. 33 The ghost of a recently deceased Cynthia pays the poet a nighttime visit during which she chastises him for his relations with other women and his failure to honor her gravesite. As the poem progresses she abrasively i nstructs Propertius to punish the slaves surely responsible for her death. She also tells Propertius about her new life in the underworld. Cynthias sudden appearance as a wraith in Poem IV.7 is unexpected after his formal renouncement of her in Book III. Propertius predicted degradation of Cynthias beauty is more than fulfilled by poem IV.7. Here Cynthias beauty is corrupted not by aging but by the fires of her funeral pyre, natural decomposition and rigor mortis. One could read Cynthias state as an af firmation of both poem III.25s prediction and Propertius new role as a poet of the state, however I believe such a reading to be immature. From the very beginning of his work Propertius professes a love for Cynthia that will surpass death. A recurring th eme throughout Propertius oeuvre is the love of Cynthias bones ( fossae ). Here these promises are overturned as Propertius is not only repulsed by Cynthias decayed state, but has already begun relations with other women. The dialogue between Propertius a nd his deceased lover shows the poet in dialogue with the epic genre and with his own history of work and that of the classical canon. In another permutation of Propertius fixation with death, Propertius often claims that his love for Cynthia will live up to its characterization as a terminal disease. At that point Cynthia will finally realize her true love for Propertius and bestow generous praises to his !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 33 Though the mention of Cynthia and the poets personal life does not fit with the public tone of the rest of the work it is complemented by Poem IV.11, Cornelia to Paullus: From Beyond the Grave The peaceful visitation from Cornelias shade contrasts with the depiction of Cynthia as shaking corpse.


! '* gravesite. None of these promises are fulfilled in IV.7. Not only has Propertius outlived Cynthia, he s moved on and is engaging in relationships with other women. Cynthias bones are the object of repulsion rather than love: eosdem habuit secum quibus est elata capillos, eosdem oculus; ateri uestis adusta fuit, et solitum digito beryllon adederat ignis summaque Lethaeus triuerat ora liquor. Spirantesque animos et uocem misit (at illi Pollicibus fragiles increpuere manus). (Propertius 172) The same hair she had, that was borne to the grave, the same eyes: her garment charred against her side: the fire ha d eaten the beryl ring from her finger, and Lethes waters had borne away her lips. She sighed out living breath and speech, but her brittle h ands rattled their finger bones. (Kline 150) Normally Cynthias beautiful appearance creates a humorous contrast with the scathing words directed at Propertius. Here form follows function as Cynthia unleashes a torrent of complaints on the unwitting poet. The situation casts all of Propertius promises, already made with an air of melodrama, into doubt. Their love has not endured past death. IV.7 simultaneously undermines and reinforces the more traditional elegy of


! (+ Propertius earlier books. The neglect of Cynthia disproves Propertius claims of love until death. At the same time it proves his earlier claims tha t his affair wit h Cynthia itself produces Iliad s. Casey Due observes the strong connection between this nighttime visitation and the Iliad : Propertius begins IV.7, a poem that alludes throughout to the dream of Achilles in Iliad XXIII 62 07, with the simpl e and emphatic declaration: sunt aliquid manes The Shades are something. Commentaries point out that these opening words allude to Iliad XXIII 103 104. The three words that begin Propertius poem, moreover fit within an overarching structural allusion in which Cynthia, like Patroklos, appears before to Propertius in a dream after her death and reproaches him for neglect of her funeral rites. Sunt aliquid Manes is a verbal echo of the exclamation of Achilles, who after attempting to embrace the shade of Pat roklos, suddenly realize the nature of the IuXi after death ( 403). Propertius is still able to experience the whole gamut of the mythological world despite her repulsive state Cynthia places herself alongside faithful women in the underworld. What foll ows is the concise compression of myth seen throughout Propertius books; the difference here is that the mythic world is actually being experienced by the narrator (here it is uncharacteristically Cynthia) rather than simply alluded to. She contrasts her self with unfaithful Clytemnestra and the ruins of Pasiphaes violated wooden cow that lie on the other side of the river. One is surprised that Cynthia, frequently criticized for her unfaithfulness, does not live here but the Elysian Fields. She moans: I swear by the


! (" incantation of the Fates none may revoke, and may three headed Cerberus bark gently for me, that Ive been faithful, and if I lie, may the vipers hiss on my mound, and lie entwined about my bones (Kline 151). She further wails that in the El ysian Fields she tells Andromeda and Cybele, other faithful women, of the pain Propertius infidelity has caused her. This is a case of an unreliable narrator. If what Cynthia says is true we must deduce that Propertius stories of her infidelity are fal se. However I think it a likelier interpretation that Cynthia is the liar here. With the lack of the normal attention given to Propertius internal state in this poem, all the focus is on Cynthia. In this instance she does not look very pretty, much detail is given about her decayed state: the fire had eaten the beryl ring from her finger, and Lethes water had worn away her lips ( Kline 150). No such description is given to Cornelia, a paradigm of chastity, in Poem IV.II, also speaking to her lover from the grave. Cynthias recollection of her and Propertius trysts at the crossroads further adds to her sinister depiction. 34 At the end of the poem Cynthia reminds Propertius that though he may lie with other women now, she will lie with him once again in de ath: youll be with me, Ill wear away the bone joined with bone ( Kline 152). Cynthias reminder is both malignant and ironic. Throughout Propertius body of poetry he predicts that his love for Cynthia will kill him, such as at the conclusion of alrea dy examined II.I: if by chance your road takes you [Maecenas] by my tomb, halt your British Chariot with chased yoke, and as you weep, pen these words in the silent dust: A hard mistress was this wretchs fate ( Kline 35). Here it is Cynthia !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 34 In antiquity crossroads are dangerous places with magical connotations. Both crossroads and Cynthia are frequently associate d with Hecate the goddess of witchcraft, dogs, and the underworld. Cynthias frequent descriptions of Cerberus, the three headed guard dog of the underworld, further strengthen her ties with Hecate who is not a particularly trustworthy goddess.


! (# not Propert ius who has died. She eagerly wants his love but is now only a decaying shell of her former self, begging that her old slaves not pamper Propertius new mistress. Propertius finally has the devotion from Cynthia he so frequently wished for in his earlier p oetry, but the bony embrace Propertius receives from her at the end of the poem is not the bliss he imagined. There has always been this kind of tension in Propertius and Cynthias relationship. Cynthia is the object of Propertius. She is put on a pedest al by him and equated with goddesses but he simultaneously shows us her negative aspects indicating that these depictions are disconnected from reality. Cynthia is still equated with a goddess but it is with a dangerous Hecate instead of an enticing Aphr odite. Ostensibly Cynthias horrible depiction in Poem IV.7 solidifies Propertius new role as a poet of the state. It can, however, be interpreted as the ultimate fulfillment rather than the rejection of Propertius elegiac project. Propertius inspiratio n still spring from but a girl, albeit a dead one. Up to this point Cynthia is paraphrased or the reader is given only brief excerpts of her words. Here she speaks for the first time at any length, having actually experienced the world of myth Propertius can only allude to. The decay Propertius has always feared has taken its toll on Cynthias beauty but there is at least fixedness in this new form. The fulfillment of Cynthia eerily echoes Propertius poetic success. The lasting fame always wished for as moderns continue to read his work though ,much like Cynthia the work has decayed beyond recognition.


! ($ C h a p t e r 3 Ezra Pounds Homage to Sextus Propertius was completed in 1917. It is comprised of twelve different parts but only four movements were init ia lly published. These movements were titled Poems from the Propertius Series and entered the public eye in Volume 13 of Poetry the spring of 1919 (J.P. Sullivan 4). The sections were immediately controversial with Professor William Garnder Hale, a disti nguished Latin professor at the University of Chicago, attacking Pounds treatment of the text in the next issue: Mr. Pound is incredibly ignorant of Latin. He has of course a perfect right to be, but not if he translates from it. The result of his ignora nce is that much of what he makes his author say is unintelligible. ( Hale). In this letter to the edi tor, titled Pegasus Impounded, Hale walks through the first few movements of the Homage criticizing instances where Pounds makes technical errors or a dds a section completely his own. When more sections appeared in New Age the following summer the poem was retitled Homage to Sextus Propertius and, no doubt in response to critical backlash, Pound largely ceased to refer to the work as a translation th ough his critical writings and letters indicate that he conceived of it this way: G1.!4132684108.!6.74>8!23!H0>.I7!>.88.6!015!8-.!0121?/247!6.J9.=!91! $%&'(&)'!*& !=07!8-08!K2415!B.:01!82!=98-560=!8-.!=265! L86017>08921@I!21;.!-.!70=!-2=!98!=07!415.678225!91 !;21J.189210>! ;466.1;?D!EM4>>9J01!"+F


! (% Those ignorant of Latin trusted the experts opinion on the matter and those with classical training disregarded the work for what they saw as an utter misunderstanding of the text. Meanwhile supporters justified thei r praise by insisting that the work should not be thought of as translation at all: The Homage is very much alive, indeed more modern than the Mouers contemporaires and should be read, by those who have no Latin, with the speed and gusto with which it was evidently written It is however hardly fair to judge the Homage to Propertius by reference to Propertius. It is obviously not meant as a translation, though it ventures rather too near the original to be taken simply as a free fantasia on Roman the mes. Yet the seven major blunders in No. 12 and the five in No. 5 are enough to show that Mr. Pound refuses to make a fetish of pedantic accuracy. (qtd. in Sullivan 6 7) Neither of these criticisms is engaged with the real nature of Pounds project and bo th stem from a culturally constructed conception of translation that misconstrues the taming of a texts foreign qualities to English as engagement with a work. Pound sees a pedagogical function to Homage to Sextus Propertius past translations of Propertiu s had a decorous, flowery sense about them that Pound believed mischaracterized the poet. The Romantic focus on authenticity of feeling that causes scholars like Lyne to make unfruitful suppositions about Propertius prompted Victorian translators to give a sense of earnestness and sincerity to their language. The results of their labor often maintained meter but lost the clipped language of the original. In a letter


! (& to Harriet Monroe that predates the beginning of the Homage by one year, Pound applies this line of thinking to a new translation of Catullus. Pound does not think the tra nslation very good and deems even criticism of it unworthy of print : The most hard edged and intense of the Latin poets should not be cluttered with wedding cake cupids and cli chs like dregs of pain, etc., etc., ad. Inf. Pink blue baby ribbon As for mood transcriptions, nothing could possibly be further from Latin feeling than this bake shop decoration. ( Let ters 70) With the Homage Pound attempts to correct these misread ings of Propertius by mimicking specific qualities of the text that were ignored by previous translators. Pound picks and chooses which aspects. For instance he does not, as many past translators have done, attempt to maintain the exact syntax or the quant itative meter of the original. He does attempt to recreate economy of language. Many of Pounds critics supposed that Pounds lack of attention to the former category indicated lack of awareness in their existence. Though not quite the caliber of a Hale o r a Housman, Pound was a competent enough Latinist as would befit his training in Romance languages D isparities between Propertius words and the translation are the product of conscious deviation rather than m istaken understanding. Those errors Hale ide ntifies are attemp ting to embody some other feature of the text typically ignored by the standard conception of translation. Sections like movement II, however, which for the most part stick to accepted text in translating the basic semantic meaning, groun d the work and show Pounds


! (' understanding of the language. The Homage is not the product of school boy blunders; it is the attempted application of Pounds idiosyncratic translation theory outlined in Chapter one where Pound sets ups the Homage as the ad option of a persona and a means of critique. The techniques these means entail render in Pounds opinion a more accurate transmission of the poems true meaning than those provided by his Victorian and Romantic forbearers. However we have seen from Pou nds letters that his conception of meaning is rather idiosyncratic : Dont bother about the WORDS, translate the MEANING. Dont translate what I wrote, translate what I MEANT to write. ( qtd. Kenner 150). The meaning of Propertius exists outside the te xt yet is paradoxically embodied in it. Ultimately the adherence of practice to theory is questionable. Pounds Homage fails as an accurate rendition of Propertius because Pounds theoretical conceptions of accuracy and meaning are flawed, but in practice the Homage overcomes this Though the Homages P ropertius is largely flawed from the perspective of a Classicist, the poem succeeds in its innovation. In Translators Invisibility Lawrence Ve nuti stresses the effect that idealized conceptions of meaning such as Pounds have had on translation, suggesting symptomatic readings of the text as a more viable alternative. He defines the symptomatic reading in opposition to the conventional humanist method: A humanist practice of reading translations elides t hese discontinuities by locating a semantic unity adequate to the foreign text, stressing intelligibility, transparent communication, the use value of the translation


! (( in the receiving culture. A symptomatic reading, in contrast, locates discontinuities at the level of diction, syntax, or discourse that reveal the translation to be a violent rewriting of the foreign text, a strategic intervention into the receiving culture, at once dependent on receptor values and variously in conformity with or abusive of t hem. ( Ven uti 21) Such readings do not question the extent of a translators engagement with a text but attempt to determine the lens through which the engagement is defined: The examples from Graves and Pound show that the aim of a symptomatic reading is not to assess the freedom or fidelity of a translation, but rather to uncover the canons of accuracy by which the translator produced and judged it. Fidelity cannot be construed as mere semantic equivalence: on the one hand the foreign text is suscept ible to many different interpretations, even at the level of the individual word; on the other hand, the translators interpretive choices answer to a receiving cultural situation and so always exceed the foreign text. This does not mean that translation i s forever banished to the realm of freedom or error, but that canons of accuracy are culturally specific and historically variable. (31) Pounds canon of accuracy is outlined in chapter one. There are those essential great works that, through the innov ative implementation of phanopoeia, melopoeia, and logopoeia progressively imbue language with meaning, granting future generations more precise tools of expression and thus a greater understanding of themselves. For Pound, feigning scientific objectivity, this canon is fixed, irrefuta ble.


! () In The Serious Artist Pound argues that good writing is perfect control ( 49). Venuti s deconstructionist approach posits that no writer has the sensitivity or self awareness necessary to control the myriad of forces that go into the construction of meaning in any piece of writing T hese forces become increasingly unwieldy in translation, the supposed transmission of meaning from one language to another: Both foreign text and translation are derivative: both consist of diverse linguistic and cultural materials that neither the foreign writer nor the translator originates and that destabilize the work of signification, inevitably exceeding and possibly conflicting with their intentions. As a result the foreign text is the site of many different semantic possibilities that are fixed only provisionally in any one translation, on the basis of varying cultural assumptions and interpretive choices, in specific social situations, in different historical periods. Meaning is a plural and contingent relation, not an unchanging unified essence (Venuti 13). Ostensibly Pounds project, with its Humanistic claims towards objectivity, seems diametrically opposed to Venutis methodology. Chapter one however showed the idiosyncrasies of Pounds humanism. It is difficult to place Pound squarely in the humanist tradition Venuti outlines as he often shows signs of a symptomatic understanding of texts, translation, and meaning that allow for subjectivity and point towards an awareness of th e constructed nature of meaning. Pounds objective scientific method of the arts is, after all, carried out to find the ways in which men differ: From the arts we learn that man is whimsical, that one man


! (* differs from the other. That men differ among t hemselves as leaves upon trees differ ( The Serious Artist 42). Pounds Luminous D etails and his katabatic conception of translation function under a pretense of efficacy independent of historical context, yet Pound insists: An ethic based on a belief that men are different from what they are is manifestly stupid. It is stupid to apply such an ethic as it is to apply laws and morals designed for a nomadic tribe, or for a tribe in the state of barbarism, to a people crowded in the slums of a modern metro polis I cite this as one example of inequity persisting because of a continued refusal to consider a code devised for one state of society, in its (the codes) relation to a different state of society. ( ibid. 42 43) Pounds critical works are wide rangin g and often seem tailored to fit the situation at hand: A poets critical interest will be selective, almost arbitrary; it may run counter to conventional critical views which are not the result of a committed and highly idiosyncratic vision ( Sullivan 35 ). In this instance divergence from his own critical precedent led to a more innovative and perhaps accurate translation practice than Pound may have intended: The remarkable thing about modernist translation is that, even though in theoretical statement s it insists on the aesthetic autonomy of the translated text, it still led to the development of translation practices that drew on a broad range of discourses in the translating language and repeatedly recovered the excluded and the marginal to challenge the dominant.


! )+ Pounds translation avoided the transparent discourse that has dominated English language transla tion since seventeenth century. (Venuti 177) The critic cannot embrace Pounds claim that, through exposure to canon and special heightened sen ses, the true poet has an objective view of history or art. Pound does not have an objective view of his own work; there are elements of the Homage outside of his control. The Propertius that serves as Pounds persona is, like a mask, artificially constr ucted. Masks embellish certain features to create dramatic effect. They twist and contort to fit the given situation. Pounds mask of Propertius is cobbled together from various suppositions tied more to his ideas on the present state of art than historic al analysis. Pound intuited the irony present within Propertius texts but went too far in making assumptions about Propertius place in Augustan culture. Chapter two s howed that Propertius was not the political dissident Pound imagined but had a defined pl ace in Roman society. Pounds claim that Rome and its poets faced very much the same problems as he had is discounted even by those like Sullivan who laud the Homage : Propertius feelings about Augustan Rome and the Empire were not so very similar to Pound s feelings about the British empire and the first World War (30). Pounds greatest barrier to understanding Propertius is the corrupted state of the latter poets manuscript tradition. Pound used Muellers scarcely emended 1892 edition of Propertius an d, unlike other translation projects such as The Seafarer Pound makes no mention of textual corruption as being a factor in his translation decisions (Sullivan 111).


! )" If the Homage is a mask, it shows us more about the wearer than the likeness in which it was made: Pounds literary flair made him see in Propertius a structure from which he could evolve his own feelings at the time an artistic credo and an expression of that creed. It was in the ability to absorb that part of Propertius work and by means of some novel techniques make the Roman elegist his persona that Pounds originality in writing the Homage consists. (ibid. 27) The techniques Pound employs in the Homage are driven by his identification of Propertius as an originator of logopoeia. Chapter One explored the ways in which logopoeia, a poetic technique contingent on context, strains Pounds poetics. Much of his art is driven by his conception of Luminous Detail, a patterned energy that maintains meaning independent of the context needed for lo gopoeia to function. This tension is a driving force of the Homage shown both thematically in the poem s frequent manipulation of time, tense, and states of degradation and formally in the clipped free verse that attempts to engage with the Lati n and Engli sh simultaneously. These techniques are also employed in fulfillment of Pounds ideal of katabatic translation. The hero poet discerns only those enduring qualities of a work, flattening the gaps of cultural understanding that keep the modern reader from perceiving the true Propertius. Conceptualizing how this flattening might take place can be rather difficult, but as usual, a recourse to visual arts helps get at an otherwise untenable aspect of Pounds


! )# practice. Kenner aligns the aims of the Homage with those of the Cubist painters contemporaneous to Pound: Something has happened; the tone of time has vanished, and aerial perspective. There is no point of view that will relate these idioms: neither a modern voice nor an ancient one can be assigned this long sentenceIn transparent overlay, two times have become as one, and we are meant to be equally aware of both dictions (and yet they seem the same diction). The words like flat like the forms on a Cubist surface. The archaizing sensibility of James ti me and B eardsleys has simply dissolved. (Kenner 29) Kenners comparison is supported by Pounds own admiration for Picassos engagement with the classics. Written in 1917, the year of the Homage s composition, Pound s letter to Margaret Anderson compares Picasso to lesser cubists shedding light on his attitude towards the classics at the time : The strength of the Picasso is largely in his having chewed through and chewed up a great mass of classicism; which, for example, the lesser cubists, and the fla bby cubists have not ( Letters 113). The tearing apart and subsequent digestion connoted by chewing is particularly apt. Collage is one of the Homage s most employed techniques. The same critical cutting that takes place in Pounds creation of a canon is applied to Propertius four books of elegy. Propertius undergoes an imagistic compression.


! )$ T h e T h e m e s o f H o m a g e t o S e x t u s P r o p e r t i u s The Homage makes no attempt to translate the entire body of Propertius work but picks and chooses which sections to us e. Over the course of the poems twelve movements Pound alternates between line for line treatments of one poem and arrangements of disparate translated lines from a variety poems. Upon the Homage s publication Pound did not divulge which Propertius poems had been translated and gave no indication of his collage arrangement of lines. This cutting and rearranging is criticism of Propertius. Chapter one showed how Pound compressed the literary canon to only t hose most important books with pure color The b ooks that remain are exemplars, bare essentials necessary to understand poetry. Pound applies the same compression to the elegies treating only those poems and lines exemplary of his Propertius. A focus on passage of time and a sense of loss and disenchan tment with society at large permeate the Homage Propertius is valuable to Pound because of his artistic credos that place the poet in relation to society and history. Thus it is no surprise that Cynthias presence in t he work is markedly understated Poun d is looking for those aspects of Propertius that are innovative The waxing and waning of Propertius relationship with Cynthia, a paradigm well explored by Catullus, is not that innovation. Thus, though omnipresent throughout Elegos Propertii Cynthia is scarcely named in the Homage. She is r eferred to simply as woman, girl, or something of the like up until the VI mov ement A focus on the incorporeal, the tension between mortal and immortal and that of art and state fill s the void left by Cynthias abse nce; Pound latches on to Propertius anxiety of decay.


! )% This emphasis begins in the first movement of the Homage with a rather direct translation of III.1, one of Propertius programmatic introductions: Shades of Callimachus, Coan ghosts of Philetas It is in your grove I would walk, I who come first from the clear font Bringing the Grecian orgies into Italy, And the dance into Italy. Who hath taught you so subtle a measure, in what hall have you heard it; What foot beat out your time bar, wha t water has mellowed your whistles? Out weariers of Apollos will, as we know, continue there Martian generalities, We have kept out erasers in order. A new fangled chariot follows the flower hung horses; A young Muse with young loves clustered about her ascends with me into the aether, And there is no high road to the Muses. There is a resonance here between Propertius invocation of Callimachus and Pounds katabatic conception of trans lation. Pound invokes Propertius shade, brings blood to ghosts, in translating a line where Propertius himself invokes the shade of his predecessor. The persona is not meant to fool the reader; Pound wants to make his presence known early on, already playing with these layers of transmission in the first


! )& lines of the work. The artistic credo is also brought in early. Pounds choice of III.1s programmatic opening is indicative of his interests. III.1 contains far less mention of Cynthia than Propertius other introductory poems. Callimachus immediate invocation show s Propertius gradual change in emphasis over the course of his four books away from typical erotic themes. Pound is more interested in Propertius later poems dealing with social themes. Sullivans juxtaposition of the Homage s sections side by side with the Latin source material, show that only in one instance does Pound translate from Book I, Propertius most well known and conventionally elegiac book of poems. This first movement opens with an invocation of the past rather than Cynthia, and it ends wit h a meditation on the future in which Propertius genius attains a similar durability as his predecessor: Happy who are mentioned in my pamphlets, the songs shall be a fine tomb stone over their beauty. But against this? Neither expensive pyrami ds scraping the stars in their route, Nor houses modeled upon that of Jove in East Elis, Nor the monumental effigies of Mausolus, are a complete elucidation of death. Flame burns, rain sinks into the cracks And they all go rack to ruin beneath the thud of the years. stands genius a deathless adornment,


! )' a name not to be worn out with the years. (119) Genius functions as v irt in the Homage Sextus Propertius and in this opening poem it is shown as something that doesnt decay. The tension between the physicality and Propertius genius or v irt as it is manifested in his poetry is timeless in contrast to the monu ments and temples of the empire. Here they are depicted as instantaneously disintegrating as in time lapse photography. The inter play between eternity and decay, stone and flesh continues to develop throughout the Homage Propertius depicts himself as becoming a monument in movement VI: Nor will you be weary of calling my name, nor too weary To place the last kiss on my lips When the Syrian onyx is broken. HE WHO IS NOW VACANT DUST WAS ONCE THE SLAVE OF ONE PASSION: Give that much inscription Death why tardily come? You, sometimes, will lament a lost friend, For it is a custom: This care for past men, Since Adonis was gored in Idalia, and Cytherean Ran crying with out spread hair, In vain, you call back the shade, In vain Cynthia. Vain call to unanswering shadow,


! )( Small talk comes from small bones. (141) This is the first instance in the Homage that Cynthia is actually named. Many of the images and progressions from the programmatic first movement are repeated: the disintegration of monuments, the epithet, and the invocation of ghosts are brought back slightly altered. Where, however, is Propertius genius, depicted in movement one as deathless. Propertius has been reduced to the very monuments with which his genius was just contrasted. Pound forces Propertius to compress time in ways that interest him ,the poet speaker exists in past present and future at once --he is at once mortal and immortal: No, now while it may be, let not the fruit of life cease. Dry wreaths drop their petals, Their stalks are woven in baskets, Today we take the great breath of lovers, Tomorrow fate shuts us in. Though you give all yo ur kisses You give but few. Nor can I shift my pains to other, Hers will I dead, If she confers such nights upon me, Long is my life, long in years If she give me many, God am I for the time. Compressing this inevitable progression of events gi ves a sens e of hopelessness to the affair. Before the speaker finishes his breath asking the fruit of life to remain, the plant lif e in the next line has withered with its remains being arranged into a new form. The


! )) divine status granted to the speaker i s paradoxically finite The running theme of condensed time and instant decay in the Homage reflects Pounds katabatic conception of translation. It is manifested as Kenner says in diction but also in this perversion of time weve seen here. Perhaps it is itself a manifestation of Pounds grappling with those features of Propertius that were impossible to translate. The Homage was one of Pounds last major translation projects before largely giving up in citation and in it one can perhaps see signs of irres olution.


! )* C o n c l u s i o n This thesis entailed many shifts in direction. When I began work with Professor Rohrbacher in the fall I had a preconceived notion of Propertius that was largely based on my understanding of the Homage. After stumbling across Butricas study of Propertius manuscript tradition I understood the extent to which our understanding had been contorted The Propertius poems we have today are not the same as they were written. I became increasingly interested in the implications of t extual corruption. The poems of Sexti Properti Elegos we read in 2011 are far more than the product of one man. It is the end product of hundreds of years of shifting aesthetic preferences and conceptions of authorship. In todays society the common reader considers canonical works and their authors unalterable. Yet with every copying Propertius text was subject to change and open to criticism. One can look at textual corruption as the end product to a two thousand year collaboration carried across generat ions. Ironing out these alterations in classical works to get at the true text has been the aim of much scholarship. This kind of work is of course necessary and beneficial. It helps us get a clearer and more complete view of the ancient world. Aesthet ically and conceptually however, I find the corrupted text more interesting than the preserved scrap of papyrus. I would have like d to explore the extent of Pounds knowledge regarding the textual corruption of Propertius and his other translation projec ts involving ancient works. I mentioned in the thesis that he addresses the phenomenon in his explanation of The Seafarer but I could not find anything from Pound specifically regarding corruption of Propertiuss manuscript tradition. I think a speculativ e study of how knowledge of this


! *+ might have influenced Pounds decisions would interestingly frame his conceptio n of authorship. If good writing is perfect control, what are the implications of this copying process in which authorial control over what is in (in the grand scheme of things) the final product is completely taken away. Pound writes: NO8!97!86./.15247>?!9/A268018! 8-08!:6.08!A2.86?!B.!=6988.1@!98!/0P.7!12!C28!23!5933.6.1;.!=-2!=698.7!98Q!ENR! S.8627A.;8Q!"+F!015!-.!;>.06>?!B.>9.J.7!8-08!K62A.68 947I!.>.:9.7!07!-.!6.057!8-./!97! :225!A2.86?D!T48!21.!=215.67!-2=!/4;-!23!8-27.!<40>989.7!8-08!560=!K2415!82! K62A.68947!06.!128!A6.7;9.18!23!0J018 U :065 .!0.78-.89;!B48!7?/A82/089;!23! 8.V840>! ;2664A8921!26!01!41;217;9247!.6626!B?!21.!;2/A>.8.>?!41918.6.78.5! 91!8-.!8.V8D!O! B.>9.J.!8-97!82!641!;218606?!82!K2415I7!;21;.A8921!23!8-.!-.62 U A2.8!91!;2/A>.8.! ;21862>!23!-97!/.594/D! ,-97!A-.12/.121!97!23!;24 67.!128!;218091.5!82!K62A.68947D!W 2664A8921!015! >0;410.! 59;808.!/4;-!23!246!.VA.69.1;.!23!;>0779;0>!048-267D! Im interested in stud y ing how poets and artists might have engaged with this process and its vast implications for both our conceptions of past works and present innovation. This kind of textual alteration hasnt ceased in the present. In our age of corrupt ed files, garbled incoming calls and internet images completely ripped from their original context lacunae and corruption continue to permeate recorded language; they force us to question the relationships amongst control, creation, agency, and authorship


! *" Works Cited R>89.69@!W -06>.7 D!XK2415Y7!Z2689;97/!07!0!S.1.=0>!23!H4/0197/DX! +,-./012'3 "$D"E!"*)%F[!%$* U %'"D! 45$67 D!\.BD!"!]0?!#+"" T.1.59P8721@!^D!,-2/07D! 81,9&1:;-<='>,/&1.;<:'8,&:',?'!.:;@-;:2 D!M248-.61! O>>91297!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!_19J!K6@!"*)*D!K6918D! T4869;0@!`0/.7D! $%&'>0.->9/0;-47D! #0BB;C0A%-<='D2C..?! a2/B0652!015!^901.!S0?26 H' T0>89/26.b!`2-1!H2AP917!_19J.6798?! K6.77D!"*))D!K 6918D W 084>>47@!015!^019.>!c0669721D! $%&'5:-/&.:I<'#0:-BB-< D !GP>0-2/0[ !_19J!23! GP>0-2/0!K6 .77 @!#++%D!K6918D! Catullus, Gaius. The Poems of Catullus Tr. Guy Lee. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. Print. Conte, John. Latin Literature: A History Tr. J oseph B. Solodow. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1994. Print. Due, Casey. Sunt A liquid Manes; Homer, Plato, and A lexandrian A llusion in Propertius IV 7. The Classical Journal (A pril 2001): 401 413. JSTOR Web February 2011


! *# d>928@!,DMD! $%&'J0 <:&'K0./='!-:%,1;:0:;L&':&M:E'#,.:&M:!e268-D!! e.=!f26P[! \!\!e26821!g !W 2!O1;@!#++"D! K6918D! c0>917P?@!h06>D! !-*-<:0.'A-B:-1&='0.'N.:&191&:;L&'N.:1,/-A:;,. D! K691;.821[! K691;.821!_19J!K6@!"**'D!K6918D! c2>7821@!]9;0.>D! 7%2:%C'0./'70A&';.'>,/&1.;<:'8,&:12'0./'5A;&.:;<: D!e.=! f26P[!W 2>2/B90!_19J.6798?!K6.77@!#++)D!K6918D! c48i=9>>.6@!h08-6?1D! !'O-;/&':,'D&BB&.;<:;A'K;:&10:-1& D!K691;.821[!K691;.821! _19J.6798?!K6.77@!#++(D!K6918D! H0B91.P@!,-2/07D! $%&'8,B;:;A<',?'K0:;.'K ;:&10:-1&='J1;:;.*E'N/&.:;:2E'0./' FC9;1&';.'!.A;&.:'7,C& D!#15!.5D!K691;.821[!K691;.821!_19J.6798?! K6.77@!#++"D!K6918D! H.?=268-@!MD`D! #2.:%;0='!'#,C90.;,.':,':%&'$&M:',?'81,9&1:;-<' D!e.=!f26P[! GV3265!_19J.6798?!K6.77@!#++(D!K6918D! H4BB065@!]06:06.8D! 81,9& 1:;-< D!#15!.5D!a21521[!c.60>5!^4;P=268-!g W 2/A01?!a9/98.5@!"*(%D!K6918D h.11.6@!H4:-D! $%&'8,-./'&10 D! T.6P>.?[! _19J!23!W 0>9326190!K6 .77 @!"*("D!K6918D! a?1.@!SDGDRD]D! K0:;.'K,L&'8,&:< D!GV3265[!GV3265!_1J.6798?!K6.77@!"*)"D!K6918D


! *$ Morgan, Llewyn. "Creativity out of Chaos: poetry between the death of Caesar and the death of Virgil." Literature in the Roman World Ed. Oliver Taplin. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print. K.6>233@!]06C269.D! $%&'/0.A&',?':%&';.:&BB&A:='5:-/;&<';.':%&'9,&:12',?':%&'8,-./' : 10/;:;,. D!e.=!f26P[!W 0/B695:.!_19J!K6@!"*)&D!K6918D! K2415@!di60D! !"#',?'1&0/;.* D!e.=!^96.;89217!K4B>97-91:!W 26A2608921@!"*'+D! K6918D! Pound, Ezra. "Calvacanti." Literary Essays of Ezra Pound Ed. T.S. Eliot. New York: New Directions, 1968. Print. Pound, Ezra. "Date Line." Literary Essays of Ezra Pound Ed. T.S. Eliot. New York: New Directions, 1968. Print. Pound, Ezra. Homage to Sextus Propertius. Ezra Pound and Sextus Propertius Ed. J.P. Sullivan. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964. Print. Pound, Ezra. "How to Read." Literary Essays of Ezra Pound Ed. T.S. Eliot. New York: New Directions, 1968. Print. Pound, Ezra. "I Gather the Limbs of Osiris. The Selected Prose of Ezra Pound: 1909 1965 New York: New Directions Publishing, 1973. Print. Pound, Ezra. The Letters of Ezra Pound 1907 1941 Ed. D.D. Page. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World Inc., 1950. Print.


! *% Pound, Ezra. "Notes on Elizabethan Classicists." Literary Essays of Ezra Pound Ed. T.S. Eliot. New York: New Directions, 1968. Print. Pound, Ezra. "The Renaissance." Literary Essays of Ezra Pound Ed. T.S. Eliot. New York: New Directions, 1968. Print. Pound, Ezra. "The Serious Artist." Literary Essays of Ezra Pound Ed. T.S. Eliot. New York: New Directions, 1968. Print. Pound, Ezra. "A Retro spect." Literary Essays of Ezra Pound Ed. T.S. Eliot. New York: New Directions, 1968. Print. Pound, Ezra. "The Teachers Mission." Literary Essays of Ezra Pound Ed. T.S. Eliot. New York: New Directions, 1968. Print. Pound, Ezra. "Translators of Greek: Early Translators of Homer." Literary Essays of Ezra Pound Ed. T.S. Eliot. New York: New Directions, 1968. Print. Propertius, Sextus. Sexti Properti Elegos Ed. S.J. Heyworth. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print. Propertius, Sextus. Sextus Prop ertius: The Elegies Tr. A.S. Kline. 2008. Web. S033.>@!T46821D!X,6017>08921DX! $%&'(&)'81;.A&:,.'F.A2AB,9&/;0',?'8,&:12'0./' 8,&:;A< D!K691;.821![!K691;.821!_19J.6798?!K6.77@!"**$D!K6918D! M4>>9J01@!`DKD! FP10'8,-./'0./'5&M:-<'81,9&1:;-<='!'5:-/2';.'#1&0:;L& $10.

! *& !Z.1489@!a0=6.1;.D! $%&'$10..5:.@! #++)D!K6918D! Zukofsky, Louis. "Ezra Pound." Prepositions: The Collected Critical Essays Hanover: Weslyan Universi ty Press, 2000. Print.