Process Notes on 1.20

See West’s Notes at:  West, D. Horace Odes I Carpe Diem: Text, Translation and Commentary, Oxford: Clarendon Press, (1995), pp. 04-99

My version is also a poem in praise of a patron, a Professor of Classics who has supported and encouraged the narrator in her work and the narrator here also invites the patron to her home to enjoy not fine wine, but Newcastle brown ale from wooden crates, and Northern beer.

The narrator of this poem is, as the narrator in the original trying to express gratitude for the gift which has been given.  In Horace’s case it is the Sabine Farm, in the case of the narrator it is the gift of scholarly support and encouragement.

I use the opening ‘pore over’ to suggest close intent examination, but also it will serve as an echo of pour for the following lines when the narrator invites her patron, the professor to join her for drinks.

The home of the narrator, Denevale is an equivalent for Horace’s Sabine farm/valley and just as Maecenas was applauded when he went to the theatre, so too, the professor in my version is applauded by ranks of students.  Just As ‘Vatican’ in the original was an allusion to Rome, so to in my version Isis is an allusion to Oxford.

The narrator in my version is also intent on hanging onto her identity as a working-class northerner whilst at the same time being confident enough in the relationship with her patron that he would put her invitation to share Newcastle brown ale and friendship above his connoisseurship of fine wine and the Oxford way of life, so there is still the use of an alcohol code to demonstrate different social and intellectual status.  Here too, then, the narrator is defiant, grateful and appreciative yes – praising yes, but determined to offer her own inferior product and stick to her rough northern voice.


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