Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Greek Anthology 11.395

Thanks very much to Dr. Armand D'Angour for permission to print his translations of a poem by Nicarchus (Greek Anthology 11.395).

First version:
A stifled fart is death to men:
    released it saves — and sings.
If farts can kill or rescue, then
    their power is that of kings!
Second version:
A stifled fart brings many to their death;
Released, it saves men's life, with rasping song.
If farts can force or stay men’s final breath,
They surely wield the power of monarchs strong.
The Greek:
Πορδὴ ἀποκτέννει πολλοὺς ἀδιέξοδος οὖσα·
  πορδὴ καὶ σώζει τραυλὸν ἱεῖσα µέλος.
οὐκοῦν εἰ σώζει, καὶ ἀποκτέννει πάλι πορδή,
  τοῖς βασιλεῦσιν ἴσην πορδὴ ἔχει δύναµιν.
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