Category Archives: Willett

Propertius Elegy I.14 to Tullus on Triumph of Love

Translated by Steven J. Willett Propertius and Cynthia at Tivoli, Auguste Jean Baptiste Vinchon Note: This elegy concludes the sequence I.6~14 that deals with opposition to a true lover’s ratio vitae based on the poet’s own experience. The conventional wealth … Continue reading

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Hölderlin Ode to Empedocles

Translated by Steven J. Willett Salvator Rosa, The Death of Empedocles, c. 1665~1670 Note: Empedocles, c. 494~c. 434, was a Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and native citizen of Acragas, a Greek city in Sicily. He was extensively influenced by Pythagoras and … Continue reading

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Theocritus Idyll VI Singing Contest of Damoetas and Daphnis

Translated by Steven J. Willett This is the head of Polyphemus, either Greek or Roman, Hellenistic or Imperial period, c.150BC or later Note: The singers in the contest are Daphnis the herdsman and Damoetas, whom we do not encounter anywhere … Continue reading

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Giacomo Leopardi Canti XIV Alla Luna (To the Moon)

Translated by Steven J. Willett This is the original manuscript of Alla Luna 1st. ed. 1819 O gracious moon, I can remember that, now as the year turns, how on this hill I came full of anguish to contemplate you: … Continue reading

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Richard Strauss and the Survival of Western Culture

Article by Boyd D. Cathey The author uses Richard Strauss as an example of preserving the best of Western culture as he stands against “the onrushing decline of Western music and art during the first half of the twentieth century.” … Continue reading

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Leonidas of Tarentum on Life with a Mouse

Leonidas Elegy on Impoverished Life with a Mouse Anth. Gr. 6.302 (G-P 37) Translated by Steven J. Willett Roman mosaic of remnants thrown on the floor at a wealthy man’s feast. This is what Leonidas would love to enjoy, but … Continue reading

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Leonidas of Tarentum Says Lyric Poets are Cicadas

Leonidas of Tarentum Epigram (6.120) G-P 91 on Lyric Poets Translated by Steven J. Willett ἐξ ἡρέων ἡ γὰρ παρθένος αὐλοθέτει. Not only do I know, perching on a lofty tree, how To sing, as I am scorched by midsummer … Continue reading

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Hölderlin Ode Des Morgens (In the Morning)

Translated by Steven J. Willett Drawing by Louise Keller, 1842 From dew the grass is glistening; more agilely The stream awakened rushes; the beech inclines    Her slender head and in the leafage       Rustles and shimmers; and … Continue reading

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Tibullus Elegy II.4 in Agonizing Love of a Courtesan

Translated by Steven J. Willett This 5th-century red-figure cup image shows a client trying to bribe a courtesan with a bag of coins while she stands back a little doubtful while gazing at her beauty in a mirror. Note: In … Continue reading

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Tibullus Elegy II.2 on Love That Gives True Marriage

Translated by Steven J. Willett This is a Roman plaque that depicts a marriage with the husband holding the contract and a representative of each family observing the ceremony. Note: The elegy is a birthday present for Tibullus’ good friend … Continue reading

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