Sunday, April 08, 2018


Joy in Woe

Homer, Odyssey 15.398-401 (tr. Peter Green):
But we two will drink and feast in the hut, and enjoy
hearing about each other's wretched misfortunes
as we recall them. A man looking back can find pleasure
even in grief, one who's suffered and wandered much.
The same, tr. Emily Wilson:
                         But let us, you and I,
sit in my cottage over food and wine,
and take some joy in hearing how much pain
we each have suffered. After many years
of agony and absence from one's home,
a person can begin enjoying grief.
The Greek:
νῶϊ δ᾽ ἐνὶ κλισίῃ πίνοντέ τε δαινυμένω τε
κήδεσιν ἀλλήλων τερπώμεθα λευγαλέοισι,
μνωομένω· μετὰ γάρ τε καὶ ἄλγεσι τέρπεται ἀνήρ,        400
ὅς τις δὴ μάλα πολλὰ πάθῃ καὶ πόλλ᾽ ἐπαληθῇ.
For a comparison of the translations by Green and Wilson, see Susan Kristol, "Speak, Goddess: Musings on two new translations of the Odyssey," The Weekly Standard (April 6, 2018).

Thanks to my friend Jim K. for drawing my attention to Kristol's review.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?