My goal is to take known issues and make
Poetry of them, and do it in the sort of way
That it seems like it used to be as effortless as may perhaps be
For anyone to do it . . . the facility of making
A completely fabulous factor out of not anything much.
--from "The artwork of Poetry"
When David Ferry's translation of The Odes of Horace seemed in 1997, Bernard Knox, writing in The ny overview of Books, known as it "a Horace for our times." Now Ferry has translated Horace's books of Epistles, during which Horace perfected the conversational verse medium that provides his voice such astonishing immediacy, talking in those letters with such directness, wit, and urgency to younger writers, to associates, to his purchaser Maecenas, to Emperor Augustus himself. it's the voice of a unfastened guy, speaking approximately tips to get alongside in a Roman global packed with temptations, possibilities, and contingencies, and the way to take action with one's integrity intact. Horace's international, so in contrast to our personal and but so love it, involves lifestyles in those poems. And there also are the poems -- the recognized "Art of Poetry" and others -- in regards to the initiatives and obligations of the author: fact to the calls for of one's medium, fearless clear-sighted self-knowledge, and unillusioned, uncynical realism, joyfully spotting the area for what it is.