Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The little river through Horace's estate was called, Digentia

I, once handsome in delicate clothes and sleek hair .. addicted once to rich wine as early as noon, I now love brief dinners and naps in the grass by the stream. I'm not ashamed of my fun ..

There is so much to love about one's entry into quiet water, that it may seem strange to be especially taken by the awareness that it is always deliberate. Plainly Horace loved the experience of this deliberate act as much as what he was comparing it to, in this Epistle - the racier play of life in Rome. I would guess, we all have the highest sense of fellow feeling for those who are so conscious of a choice to change their experience - Rossellini, again: change a rhythm, you get an emotion - as we are, in our own preferred pursuits. We clasp one spine from among many on our shelf, and consent to immersion in that one book; we slip the lead into our dog's collar for an evening walk; we pull the chain of the lamp by our bed to enter into sleep, and these enactments feel proportionate to the transformation we accept. I have no memory of any lover which is not framed by this consciousness of a deliberate movement, as in stepping into quiet water.

Gilbert Highet
Poets in a Landscape
op. cit.

Satires and Epistles
  Epistle I, 14
John Davie, translation
op. cit.


  1. It is the simple pleasures in life that delights one so much!

  2. Superb-one of your best-now having to add this to an already ridiculous list of bookmarks dedicated here. pgt

  3. David, what you say seems very true to me.

    PGT, this was kind of you to say. And he isn't even skinny-dipping! :)

    We owe a lot to this guy, I feel; or I do. He is my own model for a choice of gesture in language like that of touch, conscious and deliberate. How nice it can feel to get through an entire sentence with that transparency of feeling and surety of intention .. I wouldn't know. :)