See West’s Notes at: West, D. Horace Odes I Carpe Diem: Text, Translation and Commentary, Oxford: Clarendon Press, (1995), 176-181
Almond VersionIn my version of this ode ‘Dave’ replaces the less important Numida and it is ‘Danny’ (Lamia’s equivalent) who is praised in this ode. As in the original Dave’s return is being celebrated, but his status as lesser than Danny is conveyed by the idea that Danny was Dave’s boyhood hero, so although they are roughly the same age (i.e. they took their first pint together, (this to equal the taking on of the toga of manhood together), it is obvious that Dave has always deferred to Danny who later in life has become more prominent. In my version Molly replaces Damalis as the ‘great drinker’ and Bassus is replaced by Kev.
The incense of the original is replaced by a ‘rollie’ (home-made cigarette and the lyre by a guitar. The blood of the calf is replaced by the sweat of my own brow from making a poem to celebrate Dave’s return. Numida’s ‘guardian gods’ are replaced by Dave’s odd gods. This to continue the idea that I am using the things special to Dave to celebrate his home-coming, he is associated with ‘rollies’ and guitars and he follows not my ‘one’ god, but various ones of his own.
The garlands of roses and celery are replaced in my version by the scattering of poetry light-weight, short-lived poetry pamphlets and hard-backs respectively. This is an attempt to reflect both the short-life and long-life expectancy of words. The threat of ultimate death for everything, lurking in the background is represented by the idea thay they will float on dust motes up before they finally go up in smoke.
My version ends with a warning that Molly has her eye on Dave and the ivy metaphor of the original, the ‘winding around’ is represented by the idea of Molly getting her tendrils round Dave.