See West’s Notes at: West, D. Horace Odes I Carpe Diem: Text, Translation and Commentary, Oxford: Clarendon Press, (1995), pp170-175
In the Almond version Fortuna is replaced by ‘chance’ and the poor farmers to pray at the opening of the poem become the unemployed of Teesside – with Ironopolis replacing Antium. In the Almond version Fortune doesn’t actually kill, but it does throw people onto the scrapheap of life leaving Necessity as the mother of invention – of make-do-and-mend. The original, suggestive of self-criticism says, ‘Shame on our scars, our crimes, / our brothers! Our brutal age has shrunk / from nothing. We have left no impiety / untouched. Our young men have never // stayed their hand for fear of the gods / but have polluted every altar. If only you would reforge our blunted swords / for use against Massagetes and Arabs.’ . So the Almond version too, carries the notion of self-criticism “Shame on us up here, who’ve dumped our own” and then calls for the return of better fortune, “We need you back, fortune; back from oily eastern shores. Rehone us all. Fabricate your workers and your poets” This play on words with ‘iron’ connotation is deliberate because of the background against which this poem is set.
I have writers being whipped up into a ‘fighting writing frenzy’, almost to the point of ‘war’ or at least to a point of upsetting the equilibrium to match ‘to whip the laggards to war’ in the original. Necessity the mother of invention uses tools of survival to match the beam nails often used by Necessity when she is ‘a slave to suit the servile connections of Fortuna My reference to an ‘optimistic politician’ is to reflect the fact that Fortuna is the agent of change and political revolution. ‘In this poem Fortuna is not here merely to account for the unpredictability of the world – that theme is there by stanza 1, and 4 i.e. like Tyche, [she is] the agent of change and political revolution’ The phrase ‘Stantem columnam’ in the fourth stanza of the original means ‘the pillar that props the edifice of society, but itself is vulnerable’, which is why I use the phrase, ‘scholastic posts might crumble’ in the fourth stanza of my version; this to suggest that what props the poet up; the edifice of the poetry world, is also vulnerable, but there is a double meaning here; not just posts as in ‘pillars’, but posts as in ‘jobs’ . The ‘faithless mob and lying prostitute’ of the original are represented in my version by entrepreneurs and good-time girls, all of whom, along with ‘false friends’ have fallen away from the north-east coast. In Horace warriors were compared with bees and the phrase ‘recens examens’ suggests ‘new’ swarm which is why in my poem the bees become workers to be given ‘new’ buzz/energy. The reason I use ‘black-lead’ her eyes in stanza five is to create an image of crying, but also to re-emphasise the connection with iron. The other main reason I chose the iron-worker of the Tees Valley as one of the main subjects of this poem is that ‘Necessity is associated with metals put to figurative use. The final stanza, where Fortuna is asked to busy herself at her anvil, continues the image’ and finally, poets like everyone else are tended by chance.
 Ibid 171
 R.G.M. Nisbet & Margaret Hubbard, Horace: A commentary on Odes Book I, Oxford, 1970, 387
 Ibid 392
 West, D. Horace Odes I Carpe Diem: Text, Translation and Commentary, Oxford: Clarendon Press,