Lucretius? As much as anyone (I'd putty Ovid in here too), there is an
uncanny "modern" reflection on art and nature, love and death-- all the
dualities that animate our common duality.
His rhetorical tensions, the variety of topics covered, and the intelligent
and organized pursuit of "assumptions", makes Lucretius's epiphanies
clearly our own.
Here's a poem that may speak to the way I meet the ancients and their work.
It probably won't explain a thimble-full.
Clearly Our Own
Lucretius, our teacher taught,
we couldn't conceive of any all,
let alone The all, the cosmos, as fixed
or boundless: each idea cancels another.
This is my reading of it, probably wrong.
Did he think a set of thoughts more adequate
might do? A limitation in all things themselves?
We need hardly call him on it in any case.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeremy Green" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 2:21 PM
Subject: Re: A Responsibility to Awe
> This is an interesting thread, I think, not least because there seems to
> be a little surge of interest in Lucretius going on - Martin Corless-Smith
> published a chapbook that "writes through" L., (sorry I forget the name
> and publisher) and now Paul Naylor has followed the same sort of tack in
> _Arranging Nature_ (Potato Clock, 2001). A taste:
> Let me weave poetry
> of things
> in themselves
> move and scatter.
> The senses we share,
> first founded on
> grounds of hidden
> we call void
> or wandering ways
> A couple of questions: why Lucretius? why now? And does anyone have any
> preferences as to translations?