Ar an lá seo, 2 Eanáir

Ar an lá seo, 2 Eanáir sa bhliain 17 A. D.  cailleadh Óivid ( Publius Ovidius Naso) agus é ar deoraíocht cois na Mara Duibhe.
Ceann de na dánta is breátha sa teanga againn féin is ea Labhrann Óivid le Cathal Ó Searcaigh. Is féidir an bundán a léamh sa sárleabhar An tAm Marfach ina Mairimid (Arlen House, 2010):


A hundred curses on this place of banishment,
back door to nowhere by the Black Sea.
The warmest day here would freeze the legs off a heron!

It’s a far cry from the cosiness and comforts of Rome.
I’m going to seed here among barbarians
with as much learning and table manners between them as a flea.

Oh for a drop of that divine elixir,
fruit of the vine that gives sparkle to words!
For liquor here there’s nothing but ice in the bottom of a jug.

Oh for the sunny slopes of those homeland vines again,
olive groves, wooded hills.
There I could live off consonants and vowels.

Scintillating Rome! Always in my thoughts,
where I juggled with life and death. There I gave colour
to humility, boldness to the sweetest sounds.

My brain will snap before I understand this Black Sea blather,
it strikes the ears betimes as the howl of wolves,
other times the wrenching of ice from itself.

Augustus it was who betrayed me and blackened my name,
but harsh though his judgement, his punishment, might seem
I swear he will not have victory over my words.

No king, no regime, however powerful
will tyrannise my poetry now or in times to come.
From age to age my poems will surge. They will speak

To rising generations in the fullness of time;
freemen who couldn’t care less about Caesar and his ilk.
This is our age, let him know it, the age of Ovid, Virgil and Horace.

But Augustus is too self-important to see
that it is by the grace of poets that he lives and breathes,
and so will it always be; it is we who fashion the ageless legislation

Of the free word, the honest word that bows not to tyranny,
the glowing commandments of poetry forever guarded by the Muse.
Forgive this hubris, this pride that has brimmed over,

Stature, name and honour have been taken from me
I’m rootless, a beggar. Thrown to the winds
the Word my only home.

Nothing to do but brandish my quill.