Virgil's Georgics (The Yale New Classics Series) by Virgil

By Virgil

This masterful new verse translation of Virgil’s Georgics speaks as powerfully to our instances because it did to the traditional poet’s. Janet Lembke offers this unsurpassed nature poem in an American idiom that's either dependent and delicate to the that means and rhythm of Virgil’s unique paean to the earth.
"This paintings is obviously via a grasp translator. Lembke strikes simply from the Latin hexameter into English verse of free, five-beat rhythm that good captures that of the original."—Michael Putnam, Brown University
"A significant new translation."—Rosanna Warren

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Extra resources for Virgil's Georgics (The Yale New Classics Series)

Sample text

245 But taste will present undeniable evidence, its sour nature puckering the testers’ hapless mouths. As for rich, friable soil, this is the way that we recognize it: it hardly crumbles under kneading hands but rather, like pitch, sticks to the fingers when it’s held. 250 A moist soil is overexuberant, nourishing a passel of weeds. Not for me, growth that’s out of control— may it not smother my grain stalks before they head. A heavy soil mutely makes itself known by its weight; so does a light one.

60 Plainly, everything requires work, every last plant mustered into furrows and, with great effort, tamed. Domestic olives grow best from sturdy, rooted twigs, vines from layering, myrtles from the entire trunk. Hardwood hazel trees spring up from suckers, and the great ash, 65 the poplar tree that crowned Hercules with shade, and the acorns from a great oak in northern Greece. So, too, the date palm grows tall, and the fir, yielding planks that will travel oceans stormy and calm. But the rough-barked arbutus is grafted with a walnut shoot, and barren sycamores support productive apple boughs; 70 chestnut flowers blossom on a beech, and a mountain ash turns white, candent with pear flowers, while hogs root acorns beneath an elm.

295 Stretching out sturdy limbs and arms on all sides, standing smack-dab in the center, it casts a huge green shade. Don’t set your vineyard on a slope facing the westering sun, don’t plant the hazel amid your vines, don’t prune the highest shoot or chop off cuttings from the treetops 300 (those close to earth are best), don’t injure your seedlings with a dull hatchet nor graft the trunk of a wild olive. Be aware that undamped fire is often left behind by thoughtless shepherds; hidden beneath the dry bark, it first smolders in the wood and, stealing upward to the leaves, 305 roars skyward in a huge burst of flame; after that rages, a victor, through branches and treetops and rolls through all the grove out of control, erupting skyward in a dense cloud of billowing, pitch-black darkness, especially if foul weather from heaven broods over 310 the woods and a freshening wind fans the firestorm.

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