Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thirty-four.














Don't be too eager to ask
    What the gods have in mind for us,
What will become of you,
    What will become of me,
What you can read in the cards,
    Or spell out on the Ouija board.
It's better not to know.
    Either Jupiter says
This coming winter is not
    After all going to be
The last winter you have,
    Or else Jupiter says
This winter that's coming soon,
    Eating away the cliffs
Along the Tyrrhenian Sea,
    Is going to be the final
Winter of all. Be mindful.
    Take good care of your household.
The time that we have is short.
    Cut short your hopes for longer.
Now as I say these words,
    Time has already fled
Backwards away--
    Leuconoë--
Hold on to the day.

--Horace, Odes I.11, trans. David Ferry


[Tu ne quaesieris--scire nefas--quem mihi, quem tibi
finem di dederint, Leuconoë, nec Babylonios
temptaris numeros. Ut melius quicquid erit pati,
seu pluris hiemes, seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam,
quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare
Tyrrhenum. Sapias, vina liques, et spatio brevi
spem longam reseces. Dum loquimur, fugerit invida
aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.]

20 comments:

Doctor Cleveland said...

Happy birthday, Flavia! Carpe diem, and carpe noctem, too.

(PS my magic word for verification is "arthead." Feels appropriate, somehow.)

Renaissance Girl said...

Oh, dear Flavia-flav, happiest of birthdays! And birth-months! And birth-years! A little (and rare) celebratory Plath for you, to temporally balance Horace:

Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.

Huzzahs! Hautboys!

miltonista said...

Meh, that "time that we have is short" stuff made sense when life expectancy was probably like thirty eight.

We've got all sorts of time to relax and have a cocktail.

Moria said...

The happiest to you.

RageyOne said...

happy happy birthday!

Bardiac said...

Happy Birthday :)

Ianqui said...

I love the old school 70s stylings of that photo. Happy birthday!

medieval woman said...

Happy Birthday, cutie on the shag carpet!

squadratomagico said...

Many Happy Returns on your 34th!

Prof. de Breeze said...

Many happy returns, Flavia. And here's hoping that 34 is kinder to you than it was to me. Don't ask. :)

phd me said...

Happiest of birthdays to you! Do something fun - and tell us about it!

Flavia said...

Thanks, all! (I especially love the hautboys, RG. Can I keep them?)

And yes: that's some fabulous goldenrod shag carpeting our house was rocking in 1975--and continued to rock through most of the 1990s.

Ink said...

Happiest of celebrations to you. (And that pic is ADORABLE.)

heu mihi said...

Happy birthday!!

Perhaps it's my imagination, but I can totally see you in that baby.

Renaissance Girl said...

Keep 'em until Shakespeare asks for 'em back, honey.

What Now? said...

Happy birthday, and happy 34!

Horace said...

Happy happy! Knock one back for me!

Sisyphus said...

Happy birthday! Huzzah!


(PS my word verification is "peedone." Hilarious!)

scr said...

I honestly don't think I realized that the shag carpet was supposed to be uniformly shag until I was into my teens.

I mean, I just grew up accepting that the hallways and such had this flattened carpet, while the corners and narrow areas by the doorways were nice and thick.

At some point, way too late in life, I realized that it was once standing up and soft all over.

(capatcha = pstop?)

-scr

Pamphilia said...

Happy Birthday! Hope you and Nero are celebrating this weekend.