Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sulpicia, Ancient Roman Poetess

We don't hear a lot about the female Roman poets. However, for our literary education, the Latin Blog introduces us to the ancient poetess Sulpicia and to one of her poems, shown here:
inuisus natalis adest, qui rure molesto
(Birthday is here, I hate it.)

et sine Cerintho tristis agendus erit
(It will be melancholy without Cerinthus)

dulcius urbe quid est?
(What is sweeter than a city?)

an uilla sit apta puellae atque Arretino frigidus amnis agro?
(Is a farmhouse on a cold stream on the Arretine what a girl needs?)

iam, nimium Messalla mei studiose, quiescas;
(Now Messala, you’re too anxious about me, rest a bit)

non tempestiuae saepe, propinque, uiae
(Your excursions are often ill timed)

hic animum, sensusque meos, abducta relinquo,
(This is where I relinquish my heart, feelings; snatched away)

arbitrio quam uis non sinit esse meo.
(It won’t let me act as I wish)
It seems... well... no comment. The translation seems a little sharp to me. I understand that only six of her poems can be found today. You can read them here. Interestingly, the omnipotent Wikipedia speaks of two women poets named Sulpicia.

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