The translations

While playing with the ideas of the sort of poetry Albinia would have written, I translated several Latin poems and one Greek.

Paene insularum, by Catullus

Sirmio is home, and a metaphor
for every place you ever called home.
A jewel of an island set in cool waters
which lap at its shores at the sea-god’s command:
Oceans are stirred to make her waves shiver.
I can’t believe that I’ve made it safely,
back from Bithynia to you. In my own bed
and to my own gods, I offer up my weariness,
The long work in a far-off land,
and the weight that crouches on my shoulders.
What can be better? In the peace my efforts
are repaid. And, her master home at last,
lovely Sirmio looks on me and
the rocks ring with the laughter of water.

Catullus poem 3 in the style of my 13-year-old daughter, who would love to be American

OH MY GOD!!! OMG! omg omg omg omg
I cant believe he’s dead!!!!!
That is so awful. You know?
I mean – like – your pet sparrow.
SOoooooooooo cute!
That thing he did when he, like,
Pecked your finger? Awwwwwwwwww!
It was like as if you were his mom, right?
And now he’s all, like, in the dark,
And lonely. Like, that’s so not fair.
Omg, have you seen your mascara streaks?
You really need to redo your makeup.

….and another try at the same poem…

Upon the death of the his mistress’ pet sparrow

MOurn, all ye lovely gods above
Mourn, all men who honour love.
Her sparrow, darling of her eyes,
Hath died and in the earth now lies.
The pet who loved her like a son
his mother loves, that road hath gone,
The gloomy road of shadows dread
Which leadeth to the land of dead.
Tweet, tweet the sparrow hops along,
In shadow offering its song.

oh, FFS.
I can’t do this any more,
Her eyes are crying, red and sore.
That bloody bird! It may be toast,
But how to win against a ghost?

Catullus 85

odi et amo: quare id faciam fortasse requiris
nescio sed fieri sentio et excrucior

I hate. I love. Why do I do this, you may ask.
(Really? You’re really asking that?)
I don’t know: I just know that it is so and I am in torment.
(Torment, okay? Satisfied?)

Love – from Sophocles’ Antigone

Destroying, undefeated in the fight,
on her soft cheek you take your nightly watch.
The seas and lands are yours, the gods and men,
immortal and ephemeral alike.
To be a lover means to go insane.
You drag the good to ruin: and desire
darts from the new bride’s eyes and wins the war,
to take its place among the laws of time
and space. The goddess, undefeated, plays
her game. And now, I look beyond the rules,
and weep. Antigone, your wedding night
is here. Go to your tomb of love, and die.

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