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'Them He Cannot Take': Callimachus' Epigram for Callimachus

Vasunia, Phiroze; (2024) 'Them He Cannot Take': Callimachus' Epigram for Callimachus. In: Acosta-Hughes, Benjamin and Arthur-Montagne, Jacqueline and Vasunia, Phiroze, (eds.) Hellenistic Literature and Culture: Studies in Honor of Susan A. Stephens. Bloomsbury Academic: London, UK.

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William Johnson Cory’s version is widely anthologized and disseminated, as it should be, since it is an accomplished and evocative poem. The eight lines of English hexameter and heptameter are no less effective in communicating the tenor of the poet’s thought than the six lines of Greek elegiac verse. The emotional notes go deeper and resonate more feelingly in Cory’s poem than in Callimachus’ epigram. Cory’s rendering has a Victorian sensibility to it, but the poem’s popularity endures into our own time, perhaps because that sensibility still retains some of its charm. Gildersleeve wrote, grudgingly, of ‘the tender grace of Cory’s version, as a poem a classic, as a translation a failure’, and Lloyd-Jones said he found the translation ‘so far removed from the spareness and tautness of the original’. These remarks should not blind us to the English poem’s many qualities. A. E. Stallings, herself a distinguished poet, says that while Callimachus’ epigram is ‘a perfect poem in Greek, in jewel-like elegiac couplets’, Cory’s poem is ‘a faithful, accurate and instantly memorable translation’. Her treatment of the English version analyses the form and structure of the poem and offers an appreciation of its virtues.

Type: Book chapter
Title: 'Them He Cannot Take': Callimachus' Epigram for Callimachus
ISBN-13: 9781350286016
Publisher version: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/hellenistic-literatu...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Greek and Latin
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10166681
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