A good friend, Austin Diaz, an American living in Switzerland and teaching Latin there, has decided to channel his grief over Trump’s victory into something creative. An expert on Horace, and struck by the level of sycophancy in the Odes, he has started translating those poems (mainly written in honor of, if not directly addressed to, Augustus) as though he were a sycophantic classics professor who voted for Trump out of spite and was then later hired by Kellyanne Conway to translate Horace to flatter the new president. An unusual project, to be sure, but certainly an interesting one — and, as you can see from this inspired translation of the first poem, an amusing one. (If you want to read a more conventional translation of this poem, a dedication to Maecenas, see here.)
Dedication to Kellyanne
Kellyanne, child of good, real American stock,
queen of interviews, my sweet and flaxen protectress:
there are those who revel in astroturf grass-stains,
striving for the end-posts, lifting helm and trophy,
like gods, to thunderous applause;
these career pols chase the fickle and false polls
while those donors rest not until every last drop
of Libyan oil is ours.
The good voter knows to buy American, hire American,|
and to never try business south of the border.
The true trader sweats every currency manipulation,
and fears Sinitic deceit,
until HE calms the pacific waters with a tweet.
Some of us like wine and spreading out on leather couches,
patting our pouches at lunchtime.
Some others (the very best) love the test of strength|
and patriotism, despite the good mothers weeping at home
The costumed hunter, cold, calling his ducks, dreams,
of his faithful wife until
one of God’s subjugated creatures opens its fated bill.
You, you called me a poet, and that’s all I need
to feel welcomed among titans of industry
and dance among the paid youth and attendants,
when it is that I’ve earned, alone, my keep, as you once told
Call me a poet and maybe one day I’ll meet
See here for the collection of all translations so far.