Monday, October 20, 2014

“The damned desire of having”

A striking phrase from Rolfe Humphries’s 1955 translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses: “the damned desire of having.” The phrase ends a catalogue of new arrivals from the Iron Age: “trickery and slyness, plotting, swindling, / Violence and the damned desire of having.” In Latin, book one, line 131, it goes like this: “amor sceleratus habendi ,” the polluted, profaned, defiled love of having.

I love the Humphries translation of the poem. His Lucretius is somewhere on my (imaginary) to-read list.

Other Ovid posts
In the palace of Rumor : Ovid’s Polyphemus : Raymond Carver and Ovid

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