Metamorphoses

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 2004 - Poetry - 597 pages
Ovid's epic poem whose theme of change has resonated throughout the ages has become one of the most important texts of Western imagination, an inspiration from Dante's time to the present day, when writers such as Salman Rushdie and Italo Calvino have found a living source in Ovid's work. In this new, long-anticipated translation of Metamorphoses, Charles Martin combines a close fidelity to Ovid's text with verse that catches the speed and liveliness of the original. Portions of the translation have already appeared in such publications as Arion, The Formalist, The Tennessee Quarterly, and TriQuarterly.
 

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Contents

BOOK I
5
THE SHAPING OF CHANGES
13
OF MORTAL CHILDREN AND IMMORTAL LUSTS
49
BOOK IV
100
SPINNING YARNS AND WEAVING TALES
121
CONTESTS OF ARMS AND SONG
157
BOOK VIII
224
IMPIOUS ACTS AND EXEMPLARY LIVES
261
BOOK VI
352
ROME BEGINS AT TROY
367
BOOK XIII
408
SPOILS OF WAR AND PANGS OF LOVE
435
AROUND AND ABOUT WITH AENEAS
479
PROPHETIC ACTS AND VISIONARY DREAMS
519
Notes
555
Persons Places and Personifications in the Metamorphoses
577

DESIRE DECEIT AND DIFFICULT DELIVERIES
301
THE SONGS OF ORPHEUS
339

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About the author (2004)

Publius Ovidius Naso (20 March 43 BC--AD 17/18), known as Ovid. Born of an equestrian family in Sulmo, Ovid was educated in rhetoric in Rome but gave it up for poetry. He counted Horace and Propertius among his friends and wrote an elegy on the death of Tibullus. He became the leading poet of Rome but was banished in 8 A.D. by an edict of Augustus to remote Tomis on the Black Sea because of a poem and an indiscretion. Miserable in provincial exile, he died there ten years later. His brilliant, witty, fertile elegiac poems include Amores (Loves), Heroides (Heroines), and Ars Amatoris (The Art of Love), but he is perhaps best known for the Metamorphoses, a marvelously imaginative compendium of Greek mythology where every story alludes to a change in shape. Ovid was admired and imitated throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Jonson knew his works well. His mastery of form, gift for narration, and amusing urbanity are irresistible.

Charles Martin is a poet, critic, and translator. His translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses received the Harold Morton Landon Award from the Academy of American Poets in 2004. In 2005, he received an Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the author of Signs & Wonders and Starting from Sleep: New and Selected Poems.

Bernard Knox was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire on November 24, 1914. After studying classics at St. John's College, Cambridge, he fought with the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War. In 1939, he married Betty Baur and began teaching Latin at a private school in Greenwich, Connecticut. During World War II, he served in the United States Army where he parachuted into France to work with the resistance and went on to join the partisans in Italy. He received a Bronze Star and the Croix de Guerre for his service. He received a doctorate from Yale University in 1948. He also taught at Yale University, becoming a full professor in 1959, and became the founding director of Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies, a position he held until 1985. He was an authority on the works of Sophocles and his first book was Oedipus at Thebes: Sophocles' Tragic Hero and His Time (1957). He also edited the anthology The Norton Book of Classical Literature (1993). His essay appeared in numerous publications including The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic and The New York Review of Books. They were also collected in numerous books including The Heroic Temper: Studies in Sophoclean Tragedy (1964), Word and Action: Essays on the Ancient Theater (1980), and The Oldest Dead White European Males and Other Reflections on the Classics (1993). He received numerous honorary degrees and distinctions during his lifetime including the George Jean Nathan Award for dramatic criticism in 1977; the Charles Frankel Prize of the National Endowment of the Humanities in 1990; and the Jefferson Medal of the Philosophical Society of America in 2004. He died of a heart attack on July 22, 2010 at the age of 95.

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