March 18th, 2009

dharma bum

uno tellures diuidit amne duas

tuesday lxxxiv

the card represents the critical factor for the issue at hand. ten of cups (satiety): fulfillment and joy in life and love. feeling peace, tranquility, and contentment in friends and family. taking delight in one's good fortune.

"rise, lucifer, and, heralding the light,
bring in the genial day, while i make moan
fooled by vain passion for a faithless bride,
for nysa, and with this my dying breath
call on the gods, though little it bestead-
the gods who heard her vows and heeded not.

he is, by rare privilege, equally a man of action and a man of thought. his private life is noble and generous. if he carefully avoided love, it was because he knew himself, and felt a premonition of the empire such a passion would exercise upon him.

an inquiry into the bucolics led me to the interesting personage of gaius cornelius gallus, a french roman prefect of egypt installed by cleopatra vii herself, who is said to be the father of the latin love-elegy. he wrote four books of elegies chiefly on his mistress lycoris (a poetical name for cytheris), a notorious actress, almost nothing of which survives.

and i don't know quite how i ended up here.

anyway, corny apparently drew heavily on euphorion of chalcis, who, like his own predecessor, lycophron, was fond of using archaic and obsolete expressions, and the erudite character of whose allusions rendered his language very obscure.

regarding lycophron:

his own compositions, however, chiefly consisted of tragedies (the suda gives the titles of twenty, of which a very few fragments have been preserved), which secured him a place in the pleiad of alexandrian tragedians. one poem traditionally attributed to him, alexandra or cassandra, containing 1474 iambic lines, has been preserved in its complete form. it consists of a prophecy uttered by cassandra, and relates the later fortunes of troy and of the greek and trojan heroes. references to events of mythical and later times are introduced, and the poem ends with a reference to alexander the great, who was to unite asia and europe (divided by the hypanis river) in his world-wide empire.

the style obtained for lycophron, even among the ancients, the title of "obscure." the poem is evidently intended to display the writer's knowledge of obscure names and uncommon myths; it is full of unusual words of doubtful meaning gathered from the older poets, and long-winded compounds coined by the author. it was probably written as a show-piece for the alexandrian school, rather than as straight poetry. it was very popular in the byzantine period, and was read and commented on very frequently; the collection of scholia by isaac and john tzetzes is very valuable, and the manuscripts of the cassandra are numerous. a few well-turned lines which have been preserved from lycophron's tragedies show a much better style; they are said to have been much admired by menedemus of eretria, although the poet had ridiculed him in a satyric drama. lycophron is also said to have been a skilful writer of anagrams.

it sounds as though he may have fathered alice.
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