Friday, March 09, 2018


Total Rejection

Martial 3.53 (tr. D.R. Shackleton Bailey):
I could do without your face
and neck and hands and legs
and breasts and buttocks and hips
and (not to be at the trouble of going through particulars)
I could do without you, Chloe, in your entirety.

Et vultu poteram tuo carere
et collo manibusque cruribusque
et mammis natibusque clunibusque,
et, ne singula persequi laborem,
tota te poteram, Chloe, carere.
The same, tr. Dudley Fitts:
Take oh take that face away,
  That neck away, those arms away,
Hips and bottom, legs and breast—
  Dear, must I catalogue the rest?
Take, Chloe, take yourself away.
Cf. Catullus 43.1-4 and also the enumeration of body parts in curse tablets. Martial's poem is a sort of reverse or inverted blazon.

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