Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Nothing for Ever and Ever

An interesting article on A.E. Housman.

Reading it, I remembered that my favorite Housman poem is not "Loveliest of trees," but "Fragment of a Greek Tragedy." Mysterious reader, if you happen to be a student of ancient Greek and you have never read this parody, you have indeed been gypped.

O suitably-attired-in-leather-boots
Head of a traveller, wherefore seeking whom
Whence by what way how purposed art thou come
To this well-nightingaled vicinity?

I cranked out a number of such horrifically literal translations last summer, and some of them were almost that funny. But just wait until you get to the part about the shipwrecked cows...


dylan said...

"And, O my son, be, on the one hand good, / And do not, on the other hand, be bad ..."


Lazarus-Xavier said...


I would like to ask whether or not you know that freind of yours anymore who was interested in "catholic" anime.


It is my ambition as a side job (so to say) while going to seminary, to start a "Catholic Anime Productions Group", or something to that effect. I have had very little leads on the issue and your article was probably the most informative on seeing others of the same interest in it. It is going to be made into an apostolate to evangelize popular culture. In this way perhaps I would be "reading the signs of the times" in the correct way.

Magna Cum Charitate Christi

Meredith said...


Yeah, that's my favorite line!

Meredith said...


I do indeed still know her. She blogs here, but I warn you she writes on it very seldom. I find your idea exciting, and I really hope that you can make it a reality. A few days ago I saw Howl's Moving Castle for the first time, and it really got me thinking about anime again. I was charmed by its beautiful images and profound fairy-tale sensibility - which latter quality is so lacking in Western animation like Shrek. And I think that the possibilities are endless. My friend is still working on her "Byzantine" series, and I'm sure she'd be glad to hear from someone who was interested in producing it.

Sheila said...

"Why should I mention Io? Why indeed?
I have no notion why."

Eriphyle: "He splits my skull, not in a friendly way,
One more: he purposes to kill me dead."
Chorus: "I would not be reputed rash, but yet
I doubt if all be gay within the house."

ha ha ha ha ha! This is great -- maybe even better than "Variations of an Air" ("I am myself a complete orchestra! / So long."). Greek tragedy is at times terribly easy to satirize.