Tuesday, June 2, 2009
My Favorite Poem
I know this is a bit unusual for "Risking Hemlock", but I simply love this poem. It was composed by the Roman Empire's third "philosopher king", Publius Aelius Hadrianus (better known by the Anglicized version of his name, Hadrian) shortly before his death in 138 A.D. First I will share the Latin version of the poem. If you don't understand Latin, I would still recommend that you read it aloud so as to appreciate the beauty of its rhythm and elegant sound.
ANIMULA VAGULA BLANDULA
HOSPES COMESQUE CORPORIS
QUAE NUNC ABIBIS IN LOCA
PALLIDULA RIGIDA NUDULA
NEC UT SOLES DAVIS IOCOS
Here is the English translation:
Soul of mine, pretty one, flitting one
Guest and partner of my clay,
Whither wilt thou hie away -
Pallid one, rigid one, naked one,
Never to play again, never to play?