Poetry and Poetics from Ancient Greece to the Renaissance

Poetry and Poetics from Ancient Greece to the Renaissance: Studies in Honor of James Hutton

Edited by G. M. KIRKWOOD
Volume: 38
Copyright Date: 1975
Published by: Cornell University Press
Pages: 236
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    Poetry and Poetics from Ancient Greece to the Renaissance
    Book Description:

    A tribute to James Hutton, Kappa Alpha Professor Emeritus of Classics at Cornell University from 1961 to 1973, this volume presents ten original essays concerned with literary, philological, and historical criticism of poetry. The authors, all scholars of distinction, have written essays that reflect the breadth and variety of Professor Hutton's literary concerns. The works studied include epic, lyric, philosophical, and elegiac poetry, and the poets range from Homer to Ezra Pound by way of Greek, classical Latin, medieval Latin, Renaissance Latin, French, and English writers.

    Contents: "The Conclusion of the Odyssey" by Friedrich Solmsen; "True and False Discourse in Hesiod" by Piero Pucci; "Nemean 7 and the Themes of Vicissitude" in Pindar by G. M. Kirkwood; "A Lucretian Paragraph: III. 1-30" by Michael C. Stokes; "Pound's Propertius: The Homage and the Damage" by Gordon M. Messing; "The Urbana Anglo-Saxon Sylloge of Latin Inscription" by Luitpold Wallach; "The Marriage of Poetry and Music in France: Ronsard's Predecessors and Contemporaries" by Isidore Silver; "The Latin Poems of Giovanni Pico de Mirandola: A Supplementary Note" by Paul Oskar Kristeller; "On Two English Metamorphoses" by Walter MacKellar; and "Esoteric Symbolism" by D. P. Walker.

    eISBN: 978-0-8014-6678-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Preface
    (pp. 5-6)
    G. M. Kirkwood
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. 7-8)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. 9-12)
  5. The Conclusion of the Odyssey
    (pp. 13-28)

    The modest tribute of gratitude offered here to James Hutton, a testimony of friendship rather than of scholarship, makes no secret of its experimental character. It owes much to B. A. van Groningen, James’s dear friend, whose book La composition littéraire archaïque grecque¹ has led us to recognize and appreciate some characteristics of the early Greek epic. Dealing with Hesiod, van Groningen shows by a careful analysis that the Theogony was “extensible” and that of the Works and Days, a collection of wise counsels and practical instructions, the same should be true “à plus forte raison.”² Some of the “extensions”...

  6. True and False Discourse in Hesiod
    (pp. 29-55)

    Among the striking novelties of Hesiod’s work are his literary self-awareness as a poet and, more specifically, his elaboration of puzzling and odd views about his art, his poetic song or discourse.¹ The purpose of this essay is to investigate Hesiod’s text as it explores the complex, puzzling nature of poetic discourse. As is well known, the Muses, the patron goddesses of poetry, utter in the Theogony (26 ff.) one of the most enigmatic statements about poetry to be found in Greek literature.²

    We begin our analysis with a discussion of Zeus and the Muses, who make so forceful an...

  7. Nemean 7 and the Theme of Vicissitude in Pindar
    (pp. 56-90)

    Most readers find themselves troubled by the inescapable presence of the poet in Nemean 7. Pindar’s presence in his poems does not usually trouble us. When at the end of Olympian I he links himself with the victor, and in 0. 6 indicates that he has by his poem shown himself to be free of the rustic boorishness of the “Boeotian pig” (90),¹ we accept in these as in many similar passages the poet and his art as legitimate parts of the encomiastic whole. The presence of the artist in his poem is part of the χάƿɩς of the celebration...

  8. A Lucretian Paragraph: III. 1-30
    (pp. 91-104)

    In offering this essay to James Hutton I recall with special gratitude the kindness with which he has welcomed an Englishman to Cornell, and I hope that, being himself utriusque linguae doctissimus, he will welcome no less kindly this excursion by a Hellenist into the field of Latin poetry. Lucretius, as the most extensive source for our knowledge of Epicureanism, has attracted many Hellenists; for them the philosophy, not the poetry, has been the honey on the cup. But the more one studies Lucretius the more futile it seems to consider either his poetry or his philosophy separately. Any separation...

  9. Pound’s Propertius: The Homage and the Damage
    (pp. 105-133)

    The study of ancient authors, whatever scoffers may say, is not a form of ancestor worship; a concern with the past can no longer exclude the present. Since at least the turn of the present century a classical scholar has had to acknowledge, however gloomily, that he inhabits the contemporary world. Like his colleagues in other humanistic studies, he bears within himself the uneasy selfconsciousness proper to modern man, and thus it is with a modern awareness that he must now confront his ancient texts. They have not changed greatly, but he has changed. For their interpretation, he cannot simply...

  10. The Urbana Anglo-Saxon Sylloge of Latin Inscriptions
    (pp. 134-151)

    The manuscript collection of the University of Illinois Library at Urbana harbors the fragment of an Anglo-Saxon sylloge of inscriptions of unknown origin which is ascribed to the period from the late ninth to the early tenth centuries.¹ The bifolium which was removed from a bookbinding is written in a strongly and carefully executed Anglo-Saxon minuscule. It contains an interesting poem in hexameters ascribed to the Venerable Bede which is in all likelihood from his lost Liber epigrammatum heroico metro mentioned in his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum V. 24.² Traces of Bede’s lost epigrammatic poetry which seem to survive have...

  11. The Marriage of Poetry and Music in France: Ronsard’s Predecessors and Contemporaries
    (pp. 152-184)

    When Ronsard wrote in 1550 “. . . & ferai encores revenir (si je puis) l’usage de la lire aujourdui resuscitée en Italie” (I, 48), without any doubt he was thinking of the intimate association of the lyre with poetry in Hellenic antiquity.¹ The entire context of the preface Au lecteur of the Quatre premiers livres des Odes, largely a manifesto in favor of the naturalization of the Greek ode in France, corroborates this in the strongest terms. But the word revenir would imply that Ronsard was perhaps aware that an earlier alliance of music and poetry similar to that...

  12. The Latin Poems of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola: A Supplementary Note
    (pp. 185-206)

    Giovanni Pico occupies an illustrious place in the civilization of Renaissance Italy, as has been recognized by his contemporaries and by subsequent centuries. His work spans a number of different fields and hence has attracted scholars of varied interests: literature and the humanistic studies, philosophy and theology, the sciences and Oriental studies.¹ We know from his correspondence and from other testimonies,² that he wrote also Italian and Latin poetry but he destroyed most of his verse, himself, and what remains is neither extensive nor very important. It certainly is not sufficient to secure for Pico an outstanding place in the...

  13. On Two English Metamorphoses
    (pp. 207-217)

    In England in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, poems describing parks and estates, gardens and picturesque “prospects” from hill-tops, whatever pleasing scenes engaged a poet’s fancy, became a fairly numerous species, which, with some debts to the pastoral tradition, may trace its ancestry to the Georgics of Virgil. But, as is notably true of James Thomson’s The Seasons, which, despite all its descriptions, hardly belongs within the topographical tradition at all, these poems are often even more concerned with moral and philosophical reflections than with portraying landscapes, which serve only to suggest the reflections. Although, according to Joseph...

  14. Esoteric Symbolism
    (pp. 218-232)
    D. P. WALKER

    This essay deals with symbols having a hidden meaning or meanings which can be grasped only by interpreters who have some special skill or fitness. I shall confine myself largely to verbal symbols, to ordinary language. My examples will mostly be taken from the sixteenth century, a period when esoteric language was much in favour, but when the principles behind its use were not often discussed. Among the many fields in which esoteric language was and is used, I shall concentrate on one where it has always been prevalent: religion. But I want first to mention some of these other...

  15. Index
    (pp. 233-236)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 237-237)