This class will focus on the odes of Horace and the short poems of Catullus, exploring how this poetry both engages its contemporary social context and looks beyond it toward future readers such as “us.” Class time will be devoted to translating and discussing a relatively small number of poems, paying attention both to features typically “lost in translation” (meter, word order, diction) as well as more readily translatable effects of figuration and rhetoric. To assist our own experiments in criticism and translation, we will frequently dip into the critical and poetic reception of this poetry.
Requirements include ongoing classwork (including frequent short quizzes) (25%); two essays (4-6 pp.; 25%); midterm exam (20%); and cumulative final exam (30%). In the course of the semester you will also be required to memorize 12 lines of poetry.