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Showing posts from July, 2017

The Art of Memory

  The Art of Memory When we can traverse the plains of memory, stopping at each fire to warm ourselves before we start again on our journey, there is a world inside a world that keeps going on to infinity.  If we are lucky enough to hear the eternal melody that is at work in these moments, many fine hours may come upon us.   But sometimes the solace and hospitality are too much and we live with our new found companions, taking them along wherever we go, as a shadow upon our eyes.  The memories of Thoreau, or the early frontier narratives of Indian captivity, are something that I have felt eternal and unchangeable in human nature, not for any piece of information they have given me, but because my melancholy has always found peace in their environment.  For some the world is old or the world is new, but the point is that we tend to look at it through memory.  One memorable event confounds all future celebrations; we remember so as not to forget, but we do not remember that we are able t

A New Translation of Catullus!

Here is a new translation of Catullus: please scroll down to read or visit the Society of Classical Poets by clicking on the following link:  A Translation of Catullus’s ‘Ad Sirmium Insulam’ by Douglas Thornton The important events in the life of Gaius Valerius Catullus (84-54 B.C.) are recounted through the poems he has left.  The particular poem below was written on his return from Asia Minor, where he had attempted at a public career by following Memmius, the patron of the poet Lucretius, into the province of Bithynia.  But his hopes being dashed, he took refuge after the long journey at his home in the present-day village of Sirmione, in northern Italy, on Lake Garda. Ad Sirmium Insulam Of the islands which in stagnant Waters and vast seas Neptune holds, Sirmio--the pearl of islands!-- Now my heart with you rejoices Safe and sound, still scarce believing Thynia and Bithynian Fields have gone.  What more fortunate Care, after so many struggles, When the mind shrug