Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Unmistakable presentiments of lilac interpose themselves just now

The subversions of Spring have yet to be catalogued with the slightest degree of orderliness. The dread season disgorges a flood of cliché, while for our oversight in mapping this most genetic of all solar domiciles, we accuse it of suddenness. On the matter of lilac, however, one was greatly heartened to find its tree attributed to the olive family, peerless pillar of Classicism that it is.

We shall go down to the gymnasium, then, inquiring of our scholars how best to pass this gauntlet.

All gone, the snow: grass throngs back to the fields,
the trees grow out new hair;
earth follows her changes, and subsiding streams
jostle within their banks.

The three graces and the greenwood nymphs, naked, dare to dance.
You won't live always, warn the year and the hour,
seizing the honeyed day.

Odes, iv, 7
Rosanna Warren, translation
J.D. McClatchy, editor
Horace: The Odes
  New translations by contemporary poets
Princeton University Press, 2002©


  1. a sudden flicker of lilac will make graces and nymphs dare anything.

  2. Of course this entry harkens back to your ongoing investigation of this hue, and of its blossoms. I wished to do what I could to recall how substantially unlimited lilac's affecting and benevolent qualities are. I know I happen to be very grateful to it.