The Odes of Horace are a treasure of Western civilization, and this new English translation is a lively rendition by one of the prominent poet-translators of our own time, David R. Slavitt. Horace was one of the great poets of Rome’s Augustan age, benefiting (as did fellow poet Vergil) from the friendship of the powerful statesman and cultural patron Maecenas. These Odes, which take as their formal models Greek poems of the seventh century BCEespecially the work of Sappho and Alcaeusare the observations of a wry, subtle mind on events and occasions of everyday life. At first reading, they are modest works but build toward a comprehensive attitude that might fairly be called a philosophy. Charming, shrewd, and intimate, the voice of the Odes is that of a sociable wise man talking amusingly but candidly to admiring friends.
published 23 BC