Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Red horizon

   But why was Pentheus there?

   He went to mock the gods,
   and your rituals.

   But we - why were we there?

   You were out of your wits.
   The whole city was possessed
   by Bacchus.

Among the accomplishments of
the Classics, their proof of
our existence is almost too
multifarious to measure, from
the verifying strain endured
in their translation, to the
labor incurred in their eva-
sion. Certainly above all o-
thers, the play which stipu-
lates the price of our ignor-
ing is the Bacchae of Euripi-
des. The new translation men-
tioned the other day, is as
clear as one could want - in
that extraordinary imagery,
no one could ever want --
in bringing this luminous
creation home in gorgeous
bits and pieces. It is fair
to speak of the beauty of a
thing in terms of its price
tag. This one's lies along
the crest of the trapezius,
and defies all other price.

ca 405 BC
Robin Robertson
Daniel Mendelsohn
Ecco/Harper Collins, 2014©

No comments:

Post a Comment