Friday, May 15, 2020


What's the Point of Life?

Antiphanes, fragment 228 (tr. S. Douglas Olson):
Tell me—what's the point of life? I say it's drinking. Look at the trees along torrent streams that stay moist all day and all night; how large and beautiful they grow! But those that resist are destroyed root and branch.

                       τὸ δὲ ζῆν, εἰπέ μοι,
τί ἐστι; – ∪ – τὸ πίνειν φήμ' ἐγώ.
ὁρᾷς παρὰ ῥείθροισι χειμάρροις ὅσα
δένδρων ἀεὶ τὴν νύκτα καὶ τὴν ἡμέραν
βρέχεται, μέγεθος καὶ κάλλος οἷα γίγνεται,
τὰ δ' ἀντιτείνοντ' αὐτόπρεμν' ἀπόλλυται.

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