Horace Odes
Book One, Poem Five

quis multa gracilis te puer in rosa
perfusus liquidis urget odoribus
grato, Pyrrha, sub antro?
cui flavam religas comam,

simplex munditiis? heu quotiens fidem
mutatosque deos flebit et aspera
nigris aequora ventis
emirabitur insolens,

qui nunc te fruitur credulus aurea,
qui semper vacuam, semper amabilem
sperat, nescius aurae
fallacis! miseri, quibus

intemptata nites. me tabula sacer
votiva paries indicat uvida
suspendisse potenti

vestimenta maris deo.

"She Bangs"
Ricky Martin


Talk to me
Tell me your name
You blow me off like it's all the same
You lit a fuse and now I'm ticking away
Like a bomb
Yeah, Baby

Talk to me
Tell me your sign
You're switching sides like a Gemini
You're playing games and now you're hittin' my
heart
Like a drum
Yeah, Baby

Well if Lady Luck gets on my side
We're gonna rock this town alive
I'll let her rough me up
Till she knocks me out
She walks like she talks,
And she talks like she walks

And she bangs, she bangs
Oh baby
When she moves, she moves
I go crazy
'Cause she looks like a flower but she stings
like a bee
Like every girl in history
She bangs, she bangs

I'm wasted by the way she moves
No one ever looked so fine
She reminds me that a woman only got one thing on her mind

Talk to me
Tell me your name
I'm just a link in your daisy chain
Your rap sounds like a diamond
Map to the stars
Yeah, Baby

Talk to me
Tell me the news
You wear me out like a pair of shoes
We'll dance until the band goes home
Then you're gone
Yeah, Baby

Well if it looks like love should be a crime
You'd better lock me up for life
I'll do the time with a smile on my face
Thinking of her in her leather and lace

Well if Lady Luck gets on my side
We're gonna rock this town alive
I'll let her rough me up
Till she knocks me out
She walks like she talks,
And she talks like she walks


For this month's wiki, I decided to take a somewhat liberal and interpretive approach by comparing Horace's Ode about Pyrrah to Ricky Martin's song, "She Bangs." While this is an unlikely choice, I have found that beneath the obvious sexual connotation in this song is an artist expressing his feelings about the deceptive nature of women. In Horace's Ode, there is a constant theme of deception and the idea that Pyrrah's lover does not know what he should expect. First of all, the presence of the pleasing cave ("grato...sub antro") in line 3 suggests secrecy, lust, and mystery. Secrecy because of the privacy that the cave provides, lust because of the adjective "pleasing," which indicates something of a sexual nature, and mystery because of the basic nature of a cave, darkness, which indicates that Pyrrah herself is difficult to decipher. These themes, especially the last two, are very apparent in Ricky Martin's song. In his second stanza, he sings, "You're switching sides like a Gemini," which tells us that the woman he is pursuing has one of the characteristics that Pyrrah has. The entire song itself is lustful, particularly the chorus as well as the line "no one ever looked so fine."
As Horace continues, he begins to describe Pyrrah's young lover and his inexperience in dealing with Pyrrah. He uses the words "insolens" (line 8) meaning "unaccustomed" and "emirabitur" (line 8) meaning "will be astonished at" in order to illustrate the young boy's dilemma. Pyrrah is an unpredictable, impulsive "violent sea[s] and gloomy wind[s]" (line 6-7) that her man was not expecting. The next stanza contrasts with this idea, when Horace describes her as "aurea" meaning "golden," implying that she is a light, perhaps a beacon to her lover, because he is "nescius" of the deceitful breeze. The following line describes Pyrrah as "intemptata" meaning "untried." Horace uses these two adjectives, golden and untried, to create the image that Pyrrah advertises, but is not actually true. Pyrrah is simply fooling men into thinking she is a beautful, virginal light in a dark world, which Horace implies she most certainly is not. This is where the most famous line of Ricky Martin's song fits perfectly, "she looks like a flower, but she stings like a bee." The girl that Ricky Martin is involved with is just as deceptive as Pyrrah, and Ricky is often unable to keep up because he is not expecting her to be so calculating, or even "bee-like." The similarities between the two women are numerous. It seems that Ricky was right, his woman is "like every other girl in history."





Horace Odes
Book Two, Poem Three



aequam memento rebus in arduis
servare mentm, non secus in bonis
ab insolenti temperatam
laetitia, moriture Delli,
seu maestus omni tempore vixeris,
seu te in remoto gramine per dies
festos reclinatum bearis
interiore nota Falerni.
Quo pinus ingens albaque populus
umbram hospitalem consociare amant
ramis? quid obliquo laborat
lympha fugax trepidare rivo?
Huc vina et uguenta et nimium brevis
flores amoenae ferre iube rosae,
dum res et aetas et sororum
fila trium patiuntur atra:
cedes coemptis saltibus et domo
villaque flavos quam Tiberis lavit,
cedes et exstructis in altum
divitiis potietur heres;
divesne prisco natus ab Inacho
ni interest an pauper et infima
de gente sub divo moreris,
victima nil misterantis Orci;
omnes eodem cogimur, omnium
versatur urna serius ocius
sors exitura et nos in aeternum

exilium inpositura cumbae.




I decided to compare the plot of
The Bucket List with poem 2.3 of Horace's Odes. The Bucket List is the story of two very different men, Carter and Edward, and the final days of their lives. The two men, one a billionaire hospital magnate, and the other, a blue-collar mechanic, have both been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and share a room at a hospital. Both men come from very different beginnings, and have personalities shaped by their experiences and lessons learned throughout their soon-to-be-ended lifetime. The men become good friends while they receive treatment, and decide to run away from the hospital and live out the days they have left. One of the most memorable parts of the story almost directly adheres to Horace's philosophy, which is to enjoy life while you can and ignore the futile riches in life, because in the end we all "are driven to the same place" and eventually go into "eternal exile."

"But in all honestly, if I had the chance, I'd do it again. Virginia said I left a stranger and came back a husband; I owe that to you. There's no way I can repay you for all you've done for me, so rather than try, I'm just going to ask you to do something else for me-find the joy in your life. You once said you're not everyone. Well, that's true-you're certainly not everyone, but everyone is everyone. My pastor always says our lives are streams flowing into the same river towards whatever heaven lies in the mist beyond the falls. Find the joy in your life, Edward. My dear friend, close your eyes and let the waters take you home." -- Carter's letter to Edward

When Carter instructs Edward to "find the joy in [his] life," he echoes Horace's ideas of enjoying life and relaxing. Edward's life has been lonely and largely business focused, and Carter begs him to remember that the riches, fame, and prominence are not what life is about - it is simply about finding that joy that is so impossible to find as one conforms to the norms of society. Horace questions this in his poem, writing, "Why does the swift water struggle to hurry down the zig-zagging stream?" He wonders why the water must hurry down the stream with the rest of the water, when water is generally viewed as a calm and peaceful phenomena, with no "agenda," so to speak. The plot of The Bucket List also mirrors poem three by showing that although the two men are very different and come from different backgrounds, they are in the same boat. This movie shows that one's days should not be wasted arguing or hating, or watching life pass by as you ignore it, just as if it was written by Horace himself.



Poem 30
Alfene immemor atque unanimis false sodalibus,
iam te nil miseret, dure, tui dulcis amiculi?
Iam me prodere, iam non dubitas fallere, perfide?
Ned facta impia fallacum hominum caelicolis placent.
Quae tu neglegis ac me miserum deseris in malis.
Eheu quid faciant, dic, homines cuive habeant fidem?
Certe tute iubebas animam tradere, inique, me
inducens in amorem, quasi tuta omnia mi forent.
Idem nunc retrahis te ac tua dicta omnia factaque
ventos irrita ferre ac nebulas aereas sinis.
Si tu oblitus es, at di meminerunt, meminit Fides,
quae te ut paeniteat postmodo facti faciet tui.


Shakespeare:
CAESAR: Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar! (3.1.77)

The above is a line from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, a highly acclaimed literary work about the both terrific and terrible dictator Gaius Julius Caesar. In this particular scene, Caesar is attacked and unmercifully stabbed until eventually bleeding to death. Betrayed by one of his best friends Brutus, Ceasar looks up to him and says "You too, Brutus?" He is shocked and hurt, which shows that Brutus and Caesar were once close and Caesar is surprised to see him involved in the conspiracy. Caesar essentially trusted Brutus with everything, and Brutus turned around and destroyed that trust. Similarly, in Poem 30, Catullus talks about his ruined relationship with Alfenus. He says, "Now do you feel nothing, of your dear sweet friends?" This is almost identical to Caesar's feelings as he bleeds to death. Catullus sees that his dear friend is no longer a friend, and Caesar sees that his best friend is truly his enemy. Catullus continues, saying "Now do you not hesitate to deceive me and betray me?" Catullus is hurt, as Caesar was. (Though caesar was both physically and emotionally hurt.) The major difference between the poem and this line in Shakespeare's play is that while Caesar has no hope knowing that his friend has betrayed him, Catullus is more vengeful and threatening, saying "If you have forgotten, Trust remembers, who makes you regret your deeds afterwards." He does not feel depleted by his friends betrayal, and is definitely less hurt. Then again, he wasn't about to die, so this may be the reason.