Erik Taketomo

Horace Ode 1.5

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.


Oddly enough, Horace's brilliant and eloquent Ode 1.5 is comparable to Adam McKay's comedy "Step Brothers". In Ode 1.5, Horace discuss's love, and the stormy relationship he shared with the fiesty Pyrrha. In Step Brothers, the plot revolves around Brennan Huff (Will Ferrell) and Dale Doback ( John C. Reilly), two dimwitted stepbrothers. A major theme in the film is the secret romance between Brennan's brother's wife, Alice (Kathryn Hahn) and Dale, which falls under circumstances similar to that of Pyrrha's love web.
Horace describes Pyrrha's lover as a gracilis puer, or slender boy. This invokes a sense of immaturity within their relationship, the latter coming across as a inexperienced youth. In Step Brothers, Dale is comically juvenile, playing in tree houses and talking to fellow adults like a 10 year old. He is pulled to the side by Alice, into the hidden alcove of the front porch. Tucked away behind rose bushes and a wall, Alice melts away into a raunchy seductress, and makes out with Dale. In Ode 1.5, Pyrhha and the young boy escape to a grato antro, or "pleasing cave" in multa rosa (many roses). Within the intimacy of the safe, arcane cave, Pyrrha and her lover are able to show their sexual passion for each other, which might otherwise be frowned upon outside of their love nest. Horace discreetly ridicules Pyrrha in the third stanza of 1.5, calling her nature a fallacis aurae, or, "Deceitful breeze". She presents herself as a beauiful, angelic woman, when in reality she's as fierce and brazen as her her name. Alice resembles a waspy, crispy clean housewife. She wears a serious suit, elegant pearls, and ties her hair back in a no-nonsense manner. When first introduced to her in the film, she speaks nothing at the dinner table and follows her husbands orders like a slave. In this scene, she sheds away the skins of her public image to reveal her actual self: a dirty and sensuous woman blabbering odd sexual fantasies. She deceives the world just as Pyrhha does, by creating sweet, chaste costumes to mask their bold inner selves. The Deceitful breeze could also be taken to be the fact that Alice is cheating on her husband, lying to him by acting like a loyal wife.

Digital Portfolio * * * * * * * * * * * *

Horace Ode 1.38:

Persicos odi, puer, apparatus;
displicent nexae philyra coronae;
mitte sectari rosa quo locorum
sera moretur.

Simplici myrto nihil adlabores
sedulus curo; neque te ministrum
dedecet myrtus neque me sub arta
uite bibentem.

  • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
external image parisguruMAV0203_468x750.jpg

Like most of his works, Horace's Ode 1.38 is filled with personal insight and clear advice.1.38, the last piece to his first collection, is an admonition to keep an unpretentious lifestyle without greed for immediate gratification. While searching for a representation of this prose, I stumbled upon this tabloid picture of Paris Hilton in Thailand, with a Buddhist monk passing by. I immediately knew this was the perfect manifestation of the ode's message, even though it may seem unclear upon first glance.
Horace opens 1.38 with, " I hate Persian paraphernalia, male slave, crowns bound with bast displeases me". The Persian and oriental cultures were seen by the Romans as over the top and gaudy. Even though elaborate parties and material goods ran rampant through Rome, this was frowned upon by the Romans, especially by Horace. You can easily compare this couplet with the photograph. Paris Hilton is known globally for her extravagant and lavish lifestyle. Monks, on the other hand, are a symbol of selflessness and uncorrupted morality. In this picture, Paris symbolizes the Persian culture, whereas the Monk is like Horace and the Romans, most likely viewing Paris with contempt. The apparatus, or paraphernalia referred to by Horace are the crowns bound with fibers from the bast tree. Roman's never used such a luxury to fasten their garlands, using instead simple laurel branches. This is mirrrored in the photo, in what the two are holding in their hands. In one hand, Paris clutches a couple of shopping bags, and a cell phone, while in the other she holds a designer purse. The Thai monk holds close a book and two pilllowcase-like bags. Because Paris is Paris, her white purse is most likely from a luxurious label, only the best. The monks bags are simple and plain. This is similar to how Horace differentiated how Perisan garlands are crafted as opposed to Roman. In lines 3 and 4, Horace says, "Don't pursue the place where the late blooming rose lingers", which means let things take its course and be patient. Just as famous for being rich, Paris is also notorious for her selfish ways and need for immediate enjoyment. In the Buddhist religion, greed is a major sin, and true enlightment (or Nirvana) comes from ridding oneself of all avidity, and allowing things to take their natural path.
In the last few lines, Horace uses the plant myrtle in his closing advice enjoy the pleasures of life that can be easily obtained by anyone, even his socially inferior assistant. The monks of the world live lives in which they indulge only in the simple pleasures, like watching a sunset or listening to music. They even strive not to have any superficial splendor around them. And once again, this brings us back to Paris Hilton. She lives in the most expensive homes, drives the most luxurious cars, parties at elite clubs, and buys only the best of the best. This is what brought her and fellow socialite Nicole Ritchie to star in the tv show "The Simple Life", where they try to endure what average America endures.

Digital Portfolio * * *

( There is one cuss word in this song, just so you know. Also, the video takes a few seconds to pop up.)

Catullus 69
Noli admirari quare tibi femina nulla,
Rufe, velit tenerum supposuisse femur,
non si illam rarae labefactes munere vestis
aut perluciduli deliciis lapidis.
laedit te quaedam mala fabula, qua tibi fertur
valle sub alarum trux habitare caper.
hunc metuunt omnes; neque mirum: nam mala valde est
bestia, nec quicum bella puella cubet.
quare aut crudelem nasorum interfice pestem,
aut admirari desine cur fugiant

Catullus's Poem 69 is a somewhat humerous, but cruel attack on a man named Rufus. In 69, Catullus explains that a horrific "goat smell" radiates from Rufus, which puts all around him, especially women, to flight. In the film "Team America: World Police" North Korean leader Kim Jung possesses a similar plight. Kim Jung Il is portrayed as a selfish, ego-centric, and intimidating ruler in "Team America: World Police", who doesn't understand why he has no friends or any one to relate to.
In Poem 69, Catullus explains that Rufus tries to manipulate women into liking him through gifts of lovely frocks and "transparent stones", which doensn't work because of the "harsh goat like smell that lives in the vallley of his armpit". This is similar to how Kim occupies a palatial home, with beautiful gold gilding and marble corridors. He owns a beautiful house in order to impress entice people into becoming his companions, but fails because he maintains a nasty demeanor. Catulls then states "They all fear this, for it is a very horrid beast", discussing Rufus's smell. This is reflected in the clip where Kim strolls through a dungeon filled with prisoners, as well as when he watches a skeleton of one of his victims float in a shark tank. Everyone is not only appalled by his character, but is afraid of him because he keeps tortured men chained up in his home. In the last couplet of 69, Catullus scorns Rufus once again for his frightful stench, and tells him, "either kill the cruel pest of noses, or cease to wonder why they flee". Throughout the song, Kim chants, "I'm so lonely" over and over. The audience listening to this song is quick to understand why Kim is left isolated, and feels the same way Catullus feels concerning Rufus; Either stop acting like a callous prime donna, or quit speculating why no one enjoys your presence. Kim Jung Il's unattractive personality and Rufus's bad aroma both act as a wall against human contact, the two of them oblivious as to why.

Link to the song:

D I G I T A L P O R T F O L I O *

Catullus 5**

Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis!
soles occidere et redire possunt:
nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,
nox est perpetua una dormienda.
da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.
dein, cum milia multa fecerimus,
conturbābimus illa, ne sciāmus,
aut ne quis malus invidere possit,
cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.


“No One” by Alicia Keys

I just want you close
Where you can stay forever
You can be sure
That it will only get better

You and me together
Through the days and nights
I don't worry 'cause
Everything's going to be alright
People keep talking they can say what they like
But all i know is everything's going to be alright

No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I'm feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you, you, you
Can get in the way of what I feel for you

When the rain is pouring down
And my heart is hurting
You will always be around
This I know for certain

You and me together
Through the days and nights
I don't worry 'cause
Everything's going to be alright
People keep talking they can say what they like
But all i know is everything's going to be alright

No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I'm feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you, you, you
Can get in the way of what I feel

I want to kiss you forever
To maintain this thing that we have
I know people will try try to divide something so real
So till the end of time I'm telling you there ain't no one

No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I'm feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you, you, you
Can get in the way of what I feel for you

oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

Catullus's Poem 5 is all about his fiery passionate romance with his lover, Lesbia. I found the crazy amazing song "No One" by Alicia Keys and immediately knew it was a match. Both songs deal with a deep, irresistible love between two people, and the power to overcome the cruelty and calumny people create. In the first line of poem 5, Catullus says " Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love". This is similar to Keys's "I just want you close, where you can stay forever". They both invoke a sense of eternal love and not caring about anything else in the world besides their relationship. Catullus then says in the following couplet, " Allow us to value all the rumors of old men at one penny!" This relates to the line " People keep talking, they can say what they like". Both the song and the poem are discussing the ignoble and futile attempts that the people and old men have made to bring shame upon their loves. Both Catullus and Keys touch on the subject of time, with Catullus discussing the sun setting and rising in line 4, while Keys says " You and me together, through the days and nights." Near the end of his poem, lines 7-9, Catullus declares how he wants and shares an inumerable amount of kisses with Lesbia. In "No One", Keys cries " I want to kiss you forever, to maintain this thing we have".
Obviously, Catullus's idea of a passionate, guilt-free love still live on, with poets and singers such as Alicia Keys further discussing the same belief.