Wednesday, February 03, 2021


Poundian Latinity Again

Ezra Pound, Literary Essays (New York: New Directions, 1954), p. 91:
Penitus enim tibi O Phoebe attributa est cantus.
As it stands, the sentence violates Allen and Greenough, New Latin Grammar, § 286:
Adjectives, Adjective Pronouns, and Participles agree wih their nouns in Gender, Number, and Case:—


secutae sunt tempestates, storms followed.
Ira B. Nadel, ed., Ezra Pound, Early Writings: Poems and Prose (New York: Penguin Books, 2005), page number unknown:
Corrected to "attributus est cantus" because "attributa," feminine singular or neuter plural, has no corresponding noun, the phrase means "Because, O Phoebus, song has been entirely attributed to you."
Nadel's note is misleading because est makes it clear that "neuter plural" is impossible here. His proposed correction is unlikely as well.

What probably happened is that Pound miscopied a Latin translation of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, line 20, e.g. in Homeri Operum Appendix: Complectens Hymnos, Epigramma, Fragmenta. Ex Recensione et cum Notis Jo. Aug. Ernesti (Glasgow: Duncan, 1814), p. 2:
Πάντη γάρ τοι Φοῖβε νόμος βεβλήαται ᾠδῆς.

Penitus enim tibi, o Phoebe, lex attributa est cantus.

Thanks very much to Eric Thomson for reminding me that the proper place to look for the Latin quotation is Homeri Odyssea ad verbum translata, Andre Diuo interprete....Eiusdem Hymni Deorum XXXII, Georgio Dartona Cretense interprete (Paris: In officina Christiani Wecheli, 1538), p. 219:
Pound owned a copy of this book. See his Literary Essays, p. 259:
In the year of grace 1906, 1908, or 1910 I picked from the Paris quais a Latin version of the Odyssey by Andreas Divus Justinopolitanus (Parisiis, In officina Christiani Wecheli, MDXXXVIII), the volume containing also the Batrachomyomachia, by Aldus Manutius, and the Hymni Deorum rendered by Georgius Dartona Cretensis.
Related posts:


<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

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