Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Horace and the Thunder: an Unauthorized Recension

after Horace, Odes I, 34
Anything can happen. You know how Jupiter
Will mostly wait for clouds to gather head
Before he hurls the lightning? Well, just now,
He galloped his thunder-cart and his horses

Across a clear blue sky. It shook the earth
And the clogged underearth, the River Styx,
The winding streams, the Atlantic shore itself.
Anything can happen, the tallest things

Be overturned, those in high places daunted,
Those overlooked regarded. Stropped-beak Fortune
Swoops, making the air gasp, tearing off
Crests for sport, letting them drop wherever.

Ground gives. The heaven’s weight
Lifts up off Atlas like a kettle-lid,
Capstones shift, nothing resettles right.
Telluric ash and fire-spores darken day.

by Seamus Heaney

8 things Aa Ha Hn Hp; towers Ad
10 regarded Aa Ad Ha; esteemed Hn Hp -- Stropped-beak Aa Ad Ha Hp; Hooked-beak Hn
11-12 tearing off...wherever Hn Hp; tearing the crest off one / Setting it down bleeding on the next Aa Ad Ha
13 heaven’s Ad Ha Hn Hp; heavens’ Aa
16 Telluric ash and fire spores Ad Hn Hp; Telluric ash and fire spore Ha; Smoke furl and boiling ashes Aa -- darken day Aa Hn; boil away Ad Ha Hp

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very nice, just as moving as the first time you read it to me.

I can hear the planes in the lines "Stropped-beak fortune swoops, making the air gasp, tearing off crests for sport"

What else did/could anyone picture before 9/11?

Thanks for sharing this.