‘you with your wrinkle-rift and strain’d grimace’

Here is the latest in Austin Diaz’s new series of satiric translations of Horace’s Odes.


Painting Horace in (very) broad strokes, it’s fair to say he wrote three types of Odes:

1) Encomiums to Augustus and his entourage (subtle criticisms sprinkled throughout).

2) Epicurean meditations involving (lots of) wine and the hope of sex.

3) Misogyny-laden diatribes against women who had either rejected him or committed the sin of growing old.

This translation comes from the third category. Our poor, rejected and drunk classicist, feeling the burn of Conway’s loose relationship with him and the truth, gets drunk and translates. As drunk classicists are wont to do. You can guess the identity of her new paramour. (If you need a hint, here it is: KC.)  (See a conventional translation here.)



To a Femme Fatale
            Drunk. NSFP (Not Suitable for Publication)

Who lifts your Paddington now, you two
nestled in that oblong office, he drowned in his
            own musk, KC, and whiskey?
                      For whom (for him?) do you brush

back that bottle blonde? Oh he (like me) will curse
your wavering faith, alternative facts, th’ unseen
           insolence behind your—let’s
                        be honest, he won’t long see

you with your wrinkle-rift and strain’d grimace,
your vacuous-ness, friendliness, avail-
            ability, guileless next
                        to his guile. Or, perhaps,

you feel it? Me? I harbored not vainglorious hope,
not long. I lit no candles, made no reservations.
            Last night I washed all the dishes
                        myself. I really did.

See here for the collection of all translations so far.

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