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Edited by Patrick Worsnip
Translated by Patrick Worsnip
RRP: GBP 10.39
ISBN: 978 1 784106 52 2
Categories: Ancient Greek and Roman, Translation
Imprint: Carcanet Classics
Published: September 2018
256 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (Kindle)
The Poetry Book Society Autumn 2018 Recommended Translation
Asked to name the great Latin love poets, today’s reader is likely to offer Catullus, Ovid, Virgil, Horace. Propertius, a successor of the first and influential peer to the others, has not been blessed by posterity. Yet at their best his poems match any of the period. They are poems of love, of desire, of insecurity and obsession: of struggle, too, as they resist the Augustan Empire’s attempts to turn its love poets into propagandists. The result is a highly refined irony, a subtlety of tone and humour that is unique. Patrick Worsnip’s translations bring out Propertius’ playfulness and his psychological acuity, reinstating his poems at the heart of Latin literature’s golden age.
Awards won by Patrick Worsnip Winner, 2018 Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation
'Patrick Worsnip's translation of Sextus Propertius' poems is an impressive piece of work, even more so if one considers how little experience with professional translations he had until his retirement. Thanks to him, a new generation of poetry lovers will be able to explore the depths of Propertius' enigma.'
Clara Seyfried, DURA Dundee
'[an] excellent volume... it has clearly taken Worsnip a great deal of effort and carful work to write a volume of poetry so joyfully composed and so intellectually stimulating. Don't sit down with this book if you want to be bored.'
Timothy Foot, The Postmaster and the Merton Record
'With the earlier poems Worsnip is happily slangy, and relishes the moments of naughty exuberance... Worsnip is good, indeed probably better than any other English translator so far, at the twinkling'
Colin Burrow, London Review of Books
'The translation is play as well as passion and, despite the scholarship of the introduction and the generous notes at the end, the book is characterised by spirit, desire and a briskness of touch that makes the reading of these "personal poems" a valuable pleasure.'
George Szirtes, PBS Autumn Bulletin 2018
'Propertius is perhaps the most enigmatic of the great poets from the golden age of Latin literature [...] Patrick Worsnip's vibrant contemporary translation will bring him to a new generation of discerning readers.'
Peter Heslin, from the Introduction
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