The Poems

The Poems Of all the great classical love poets Propertius alive around BCE is surely one of those with most immediate appeal for readers today His helpless infatuation for the sinister figure of his m

  • Title: The Poems
  • Author: Propertius Guy Lee
  • ISBN: 9780192835734
  • Page: 110
  • Format: Paperback
  • Of all the great classical love poets, Propertius, alive around 50 10 BCE, is surely one of those with most immediate appeal for readers today His helpless infatuation for the sinister figure of his mistress Cynthia forms the main subject of his poetry and is analyzed with a tormented but witty grandeur in all its changing moods, from ecstasy to suicidal despair.

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    1. Toujours dans la veine des poètes latins, après un Catulle tout à la fois impétueux et tendre, après un Tibulle irénique et volage, voici Properce, passionnément fidèle et attaché à sa Cynthie, et terriblement voluptueux. C'est sans doute de ces trois auteurs le plus vivant, le plus touchant et celui qui donne le plus de présence à cette antiquité disparue. Properce célèbre les délices de l'amour, et rien de ce qui peut le rendre plus piquant ne semble lui être étranger. Il y a [...]

    2. “I wish my enemy a placid girl-friend.” (iii. 8. 20)Luckily (from the poet's perspective), Propertius was not cursed with a placid girlfriend. Instead, he fell for a woman named Cynthia who drove him so crazy that he devoted most of his poetry towards memorializing their schizophrenic relationship. Unlike Horace and Virgil, Propertius focused his efforts on love poems in the style of Catullus. This book contains all of 92 of them, divided into four books published from roughly 29 to 15 b.c. [...]

    3. I'll be honest: I only read the first two volumes of this book in their entirety, then skimmed the last two volumes. My current interest is in love poetry, not poetry about the greatness of Caesar, etc after all. While it seems that this is the most scholarly/well-researched translation out there, I was rather disappointed by the fact that it doesn't read like poetry at all. This translation is a prose translation -- a fact that needn't necessarily have been a limitation (there *is* such a thing [...]

    4. Translations are very stilted in the first book , which is reputedly the freshest and most revolutionary of the poetry that Propertius wrote. They become smoother and easier to read in the following books.

    5. Following Catullus' Lesbia poems, Propertius is the first of the Latin erotic elegists proper and has a deep influence on Ovid. Guy Lee's translation is fluent and flowing but doesn't really convey the texture of the Latin originals.The Cynthia poems which sit at the heart of the Propertian texts go on to have a profound impact on the dynamics of erotic love as represented in western literature so it is definitely worth reading this first to see how literary erotic love develops under Petrarch, [...]

    6. As with all books of poetry there will be high and low points in here. Propertius' poetry is less abusive than Catullus (his predecessor), less (at least ostensibly) lauding of Augustus than Virgil, less hilarious than bits of Ovid, but has moments of genius all of its own.Cynthia's visit from beyond the grave was a favourite as was her rage on discovering some sexual shenanigans. I also enjoyed the warnings on the dangers of love:Don't be deceived because she's willing, Ponticus;When a girl's y [...]

    7. Propertius is ridiculously hard to capture in English, but Katz does a darn good job, and hey, he gives the Latin, too! Some folks like the intensely personal portrait of an emotional young man in love with a high-maintenance woman. Great stuff. I like the anti-Augustan, anti-militarism undertones. If you want to know where the medieval court poets got all that stuff about the lover's abasement to his lady, this is a good place to start. The tradition of the servile lover just never gets old, no [...]

    8. A delightful read, though how much is owed to the translator's talent is a valid question. Still, the world of Ancient Rome becomes current with the same struggles we all deal with in some way. Even though the elegies are profane, they are enjoyable and Propertius's humor and curse of loving a courtesan is entertaining.

    9. These poems are absolutely brilliant. Occasionally the editor makes some rather polemic changes, such as capitalizing certain words that should not be personified. Some sentences are also put in different places. Nevertheless, the true magic is in the poems of Propertius, which take one upon a journey of musings and imagination.

    10. I just could not get anything at all from any of the poems. It might be that everything was entirely lost in translation, or it might be that I lack the cultural mind-set to respond to a communication from Ancient Rome. Tedious from beginning to end, for me at any rate.

    11. very nice&concise translation but-still prefer my loeb propertius but-i think only because-it's the one i was originally exposed to when i took latin in high school

    12. Probably only deserves 3 stars as it's not as amazing as Ovid, but he writes all of his love poems to Cynthia. Extra star for having a mistress with such a cool name.

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