Monday, March 15, 2010

Last Ovid question of the quarter.

Here is the last post for the Ovid's Amores 1.3, 1.9, 1.11, 1.12. What do you have to add?


Whitney said...

All of the Amores obviously follow some kind of theme or comparison. Many are short and to the point, but they leave a definite message. In Amores 1.3 you have a man asserting his love for a women and explaining how he will always love her even though he has no clear explanations as to why. "aut amet aut faciat cur ego semper amem!" The section is simply a man promising himself to a women, but there seems to be a slight understated though of unrequited love hidden beneath his words. Like maybe if this maiden loved him in the same manner would he have to assert it so thoroughly? You get a sense of unrequited love in Amores 1.11, 1.12 for you have another male writing to a women he is in love with or infatuated with. In 1.11 the man states how, si quaeret quid agam, spe noctis vivere dices;
cetera fert blanda cera notata manu." That he waits and things of her at night and that his love for her is clear in the letter. As you read you get the impression that the writer is putting to much into his letters and that maybe he is going overboard and making the women pull away. That though is somewhat reassured in Amores 1.12 when he gets a letter back, but she has stated that it is bad omen today. "flete meos casūs: tristes rediere tabellae; infelix hodie littera posse negat." This seems to just be an excuse used by the women to get out of seeing this man who seeks her. But instead of seeing this a subtle rejection the man blames the tablets for which he has written on and therefore concludes that they are the reason she does not come. So maybe he isn't denying the simple rejection after all, but merely blaming something else for his failure. Completely reaching a different meaning and comparison Amores 1.9 shows the comparison between war and love. "militat omnis amans, et habet sua castra Cupido; attice, crede mihi, militat omnis amans."
War and love are the same thing if looked at properly and seem to coexist within each other. For battle separates love and love can separate one from the battle. Ovid is stating that the two are the same yet different.

Caroline David said...

Ovid Amores poem all correlate through their distinct contemplations concerning love.
Amores 1.3 tells of Ovids love for a women whom he wishes would allow him to love her. He seeks her loyalty and claims that a thousand girls do not please him-"non mihi mille placent".
Amores 1.9 compares lovers to soldiers. Ovid explains how women seek the same qualities in men as those of a soldier and how Cupid keeps a camp of lovers. Love is declared to be no simple task and that it demands men are lifted from their idleness.
Amores 1.11 was seemingly difficult to understand at first, but with persistence I came to understand Ovids tale of communication through letters with a lover of his. He tells of how he believes she has been struck with Cupid's bow, and his studying of her brow while she reads. Ovid wishes that she will write as much as she can, making him all the more happy.
Amores 1.12 follows up on the thoughts presented in 1.11, but in a disappointing manner. The womens Ovid speaks of has written him a letter in return saying she cannot visit him due to an injured toe. In turn he reminds his readers to always lift their feet when crossing over doorsteps.
I enjoyed reading Ovid's Amores poems. He is very descriptive in his tales of love, using poetic devices to interest the reader such as similes and metaphors. Occasionally though these would ramble on to an extent, losing the readers train of thought. My favorite poem was Amores 1.9, as I thought the comparisons were clever and original. I have found it surprisingly fascinating reading of Ovids opinions on love.

Emily said...

This will seem pretty obvious since these poems are from Amores, but clearly love is very important to Ovid. It's been a central theme in the other poems we have read as well, except for Baucis and Philemon. I have come to the conclusion that Ovid is a hopeless romantic. If I was in Self-knowledge, I would say his identity center is love. Except I'm not in self-knowledge right now, so I won't say that...
I noticed there are motifs among many of his poems. Wax seems to be one that occurs often. References to mythology and the gods, especially to Venus, Cupid and sometimes Mars, are present in almsot all-if not all- of his poems we've read so far.
Ovid seems to be a very emotional person. It's very easy to tell what kind of mood he was in when he wrote the different amores poems. I especially liked the contrast between 1.11 and 1.12. He is very hopeful in 1.11, so he writes in a very excited, jolly tone. Then when he finds out he won't be meeting his girlfriend, his tone completely changes in 1.12. He's almost bi-polar. By 1.12 he is disappointed, so he writes in a pessimistic and sullen tone. I like that he can capture his emotions so well in his writing. However, his level of moodiness is almost unhealthy. If not unhealthy, then at least exhausting.
I love that even today, over 2000 years later, we can still relate to the basic feelings and thoughts about which he writes. Love is one of those things that stays the same between the ages. I was reading his poems thinking, "Yes, Ovid, I know what you mean." A lot has changed since Ovid's times, but love is still love.

Gientsy said...

I agree with Ms. Knuutinen about Ovid being a hopeless romantic. Also with the "Wax" appearing often in his poems. I don't know if I am confusing his poems to Catullus' when I say that bad omens are also used? Someone tell me if I did. 1.3 and 1.9 are sort of similar that the lover will do anything to be loved. In 1.3 he just wants the girl to love him and he will be her slave and in 1.9 lovers are described as soldiers fighting for love so it's kind of the same.
I like how the tone in 1.11 and 1.12 completely change even though 1.12 is a second installment to 1.11, he becomes upset and you can tell by how he described the things that the tree was used for "convincam puras non habuisse manus. praebuit illa arbor misero suspendia collo,carnifici diras praebuit illa cruces; illa dedit turpes raucis bubonibus umbras, vulturis in ramis et strigis ova tulit." just the way he described these things- the wretched neck, fearful crosses for torturers, a shade for raucous horned owls, and carried the eggs of a vulture- they're pretty negative so his whole attitude took a turn.
I have to say when I read that part where she tripped in the threshold in 1.12 it reminded me of the WASC lady and it made me chuckle a little bit.

Kristin said...

I also agree with both Emily and Gientsy, I feel that Ovid is a hopeless romantic and that he has trouble controlling his feelings. Through these four amores poems, one of which we read in class, show us the odd ways in which he describes love. His constant fetish with hair and odd parts of the body are also shown here as in his other works.
In Amores 1.3 Ovid explains how the man will always love the woman, even though he is not sure why. It is like that Sabidus (I think that was his name) story from one of the Cambridge books. Though this man seems to love this woman with all of his heart, the love does not seem to be a two way street. In other words, the woman does not seem to love the man quite as much as he loves her.
Amores 1.11 and 1.12 are very similar to the first one too because they also show unrequited love. Though these two final poems are a continuation upon each other, Ovid distinguishes clearly a different mood. In the first one the man is frustrated that his love in unrequited, but in the second one he geings to accept it.
I, like Caroline, greatly enjoyed reading about Ovid's love life, but I am glad that we are moving onto Catullus. Ovid's poems made me think about love in a new way that I had never thought of before.

Chrysanthe said...

Ovid’s clever irony is rather funny, and his pledges of fidelity as great as Jupiter’s (hah!) are reminiscent of Apollo’s “Sic agna lupum, sec cerva leonem…” in how they express the exact opposite of what was intended. Both author and character seem to make the absolute worst (but consequentially most amusing) comparisons. Still, as Caroline said, Ovid does say “non mihi mille placent, non sum desultor amores”.
Not sure what to say about this one besides here should be a chorus of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough!” I personally do not understand the end of line 29 to line 30 where it refers to the conquered rising and the seemingly untouchable falling. Also, I find it ironic that Ovid is speaking about all the trials a man will go through for his girl (mitte puellam, strenuous exemto fine sequetur amans) and yet he is reclining comfortably on his chair.
I sense a bit of Juliet’s nurse in the character of Ovid’s servant. Another comparison to the military “in me millitiae signa tuere tuae” where Ovid hopes his servant can empathize with his love-sick state and thus complete the job. The poet hopes that his tablet will return with a message of love and promises to decorate it in triumph, rather like how Pyramus and Thisbe thank the wall for allowing them to talk through the crack.
I am still reminded of Pyramus and Thisbe in how they also chastised the wall for preventing them from seeing each other. So too does Ovid chastise the tablet as it brings word of his mistress being indisposed. Also, though Ovid’s narrative is much more lighthearted, the cursing of the white tablet in lines 11-12 as it is died red like blood reminds me of Thisbe’s praying that the mulberry bush retains is bloody color after being spattered with Pyramus’ gore. Ew.

Robin said...

By reading a fair amount of Ovid, one starts to get the feeling that he likes to write about love... hmm..
Just joking, obviously he loves love.

It is very interesting to see the rollercoaster of love Ovid seemed to ride. I feel like it is necessary to take the amores stories out of context to just look at where Ovid was in life. He makes a great psychology case.
In Amores 1.3 he is completely smitten. He enjoys this bountiful love that he can not even describe, "aut amet aut faciat cur ego semper amem!". These are very beautiful lines that help the reader guess what Ovid was feeling at the time; confused with love, but loving the confusion. Then, taking a peak at 1.11/12, I started to think that he became obsessed with the idea of love. He was so anxious for her to write him back that he neglected to notice the complete woman rejection in her letter back to him. Ovid, instead of accepting the truth, blames something else for the reason she does not want him. In 1.9, he hits an epiphany about love and war. He explains their similarities writing that the age that is apt for war, is also suitable for love, "quae bello est habilis, Veneri quoque convenit aetas". By comparing love to war, a brutal blood-fest of hatred and violence, Ovid's rollercoaster continues. He is blinded by love, obsessed by love, and fascinated by love.

Emilia said...

Amores 1.3 I really enjoy reading Ovid because I feel he is genuinely sweet. He is tortured by the uncertainty of love in the beginning, but has wild dreams of being sung about like Juppiter and Europa (even though that story is called the Rape of Europa and's sweet he wants them to have a love story). Even while he waits to here from her, he imagines everything he will do for her. It's absolutely adorable, and even thousands of years later I know exactly how he feels.
Amores 1.9 Ovid may have started with a great metaphor here, but at some point he really struggled to make the comparison. At least to me in this modern day. I love the imagery of the lover going to the ends of the world for his love (ain't no mountain high, ain't no valley low, ain't no river wiiiide enough baby), and the metaphor works great there. But sneaking into the enemy's camp and...sneaking up on a lover at night? What's going on? Maybe I'm too young to understand.
Amores 1.11 I imagine Ovid saying all this out loud to his slave girl, Nape. It's a little weird, but still sort of sweet. He thinks out everything he wants to say and wants Conrinna to say in response, but ends up just wanting her to say "Come" so she doesn't get tired of writing. Once again, adorable and accomodating.
Amores 1.12 I love it! Ovid captures love so well. That every little thing matters so much...that wait when you have just put yourself out there and are awaiting rejection or acceptance (1.3) and your imagination is going wild. How you have to think over every little thing you say so much at the start of a relationship (20 minutes composing the right text message!) is captured in Amores 1.11. And now, how one little misfortunate thing leads your imagination to believe in superstitions and omens, fearing the worst. Corinna can't see me? Oh god! It must have been tripping over the door jam. Ovid is an adorable lover, and captures love beautifully in the amores.

Filipp said...

Enough has been said about the context of Ovid's amores and what they discuss. Also, people have already covered the love aspect of these poems and how they reflect Ovid's desire for love.

Id like to comment on the humor in these stories. Ovid treats love as a silly thing, in some of these poems. His humorous approach to love makes it something that is desired by all. " turpe senex miles, turpe senilis amor" is the only example i can think of at this late hour that shows his humorous side. Ovid says, "disgraceful is an old man as a soldier, disgraceful is an elderly lover." He does not actually mean this, but rather adds it for comical value to suggest that love, like a soldier, is at its premium when it is in a young age.

Ovid's light tone and playful voice makes these poems very easy to translate, and I enjoyed reading them. The metaphors are very clear, and I was not left guessing what he was trying to say.

Bryn said...

Ovid's Amores are a collection of love poems, written in elegiac couplet (because he is not talking of war, but of love and does not need such a serious meter- plus cupid stole one of the feet!) is a collection of 2 books of love stories.
Amores 1.3 is about how Ovid loves a girl and is just asserting his belief. He wants her to be in love with him as well, and is trying to persuade her by using her as a muse in his poetry. He goes as far as asserting his love through the poem. " iunctaque semper erunt nomina nostra tuis." And my name will always be linked to yours.
I did enjoy these stories (although I think that I preferred the stories that metamorphoses held). But regardless, they are great little lessons in love.

Adam said...

Ovid's Amores are very short poems but they have a very strong meaning. In Amores 1.3, Ovid is telling a girl that he loves her but we don't ever find out why.
In Amores 1.9, Ovid talks about contrasting soldiers to lovers. One of my favorite parts is when Ovid says, "Every lover serves as a soldier, and Cupid has his own camp." (militat omnis amans, et habet sua castra Cupido) I found that part interesting because the whole poem is condensed into that one sentence alone.
In Amores 1.11, Ovid is talking happily to his girlfriend but then in Amores 1.12, his tone completly change to a dull and lathargic mood. I found it intersting to see how Ovid could change his tone and mood completly from one poem to another.
Even today, we can relate to the Amores, poems from almost 2000 years ago, because everyone is looking for love.

Chris said...

Ovid's Amores really say a lot about him. He really loves Love, but he's not weird about. From 1.3, you can tell he's not a player or some guy who justs stalks random girls. I mean "non mihi mille placent, non sum desultor amoris": A thousand do not please me, I am not a horse-jumper of love. I like this comparison by the way, I've never thought of a player as a horse-jumper. But even like the last line, "iunctaque semper erunt nomina nostra tuis": and my name will always be joined to yours. That's really sweet; this poem really makes me see Ovid as a cool guy.
I think 1.9 is one of my favorites, this is such a great comparison; lovers to soldiers. It's so true, they both fight so hard and strive for their goal; "ibit in adversos montes duplicataque nimbo flumina": he will go onto hostile mountains and rivers doubled by a rainstorm. Ovid tells how far a lover or a soldier will go, they'll go to the end of the earth to get what they want.
1.11 kinda makes me laugh, it's like the Roman version of today's love letters. But instead of using pen and paper (well, more like email or text nowadays), he's using stylus and wax tablet. And he's so anxious about even the way she reads it and he desperately wants her to write back, even if it's just one word: "odi, cum late splendida cera vacat."
1.12 is pretty funny too, although I do feel bad for Ovid. It seems like he's been rejected; if she really loved him she could manage a stubbed toe: "ad limen digitos restitit icta Nape." Poor Ovid, but he sure does get pissed with the tablets, along with the trees and people who made them. But I guess his reaction could have been worse, he could have attacked the girl or something, he handled that rejection fairly well.

dolatin said...

Wonderful job by all!!!

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