A wise and witty revival of the Roman poet who taught us how to carpe diem
What is the value of the durable at a time when the new is paramount? How do we fill the void created by the excesses of a superficial society? What resources can we muster when confronted by the inevitability of death? For the poet and critic Harry Eyres, we can begin to answer these questions by turning to an unexpected source: the Roman poet Horace, discredited at the beginning of the twentieth century as the "smug representative of imperialism," now best remembered—if remembered—for the pithy directive "Carpe diem."
In Horace and Me: Life Lessons from an Ancient Poet, Eyres reexamines Horace's life, legacy, and verse. With a light, lyrical touch (deployed in new, fresh versions of some of Horace's most famous odes) and a keen critical eye, Eyres reveals a lively, relevant Horace, whose society—Rome at the dawn of the empire—is much more similar to our own than we might want to believe.
Eyres's study is not only intriguing—he retranslates Horace's most famous phrase as "taste the day"—but enlivening. Through Horace, Eyres meditates on how to live well, mounts a convincing case for the importance of poetry, and relates a moving tale of personal discovery. By the end of this remarkable journey, the reader too will believe in the power of Horace's "lovely words that go on shining with their modest glow, like a warm and inextinguishable candle in the darkness."
About Harry EyresSee more books from this Author
...Eyres's modern translations are accompanied by wonderfully insightful readings of Horace's poetry. But his book is much more than this: looking back across his own life as a writer, Eyres celebrates the enduring importance of poetry in an age that, like Horace's own, often seems to value money above all else.Read Full Review of Horace and Me: Life Lessons f... | See more reviews from Guardian
...it's hard to judge the claims Eyres makes for the Latin poems, because our access to them is through his own slangy translations, which brashly wrench Horace into contemporary relevance.Read Full Review of Horace and Me: Life Lessons f... | See more reviews from Guardian
Readers of "Horace and Me" will get a very narrow view of a poet whose opus was vast and whose voices were many. But they will no doubt enjoy the cool drinks that Mr. Eyres scoops up from that rustic Bandusian spring.Read Full Review of Horace and Me: Life Lessons f... | See more reviews from WSJ online
...Eyres’s take on Horace is enlightening, and best of all he provides his own witty, exuberantly updated translations of the verses.Read Full Review of Horace and Me: Life Lessons f... | See more reviews from Financial Times
Hopefully, its seductive interweaving of a modern life and an ancient one will encourage a wider readership of this most appealing of Latin writers, even if only in translation.Read Full Review of Horace and Me: Life Lessons f... | See more reviews from The Economist
An aggregated and normalized score based on 16 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes