Epistles of Horace Book 2 Notes

envy can be tamed only by death.

‘he burns by his very splendor’

‘there is nothing hard in the inside of an olive, nothing hard in the outside of a nut.’

‘we are arrived at the highest pitch of success in arts; we paint, and sing.’

‘if length of time makes poems better, as it does winery would fain know how many years will stamp a value upon writings.’

‘sacred is every ancient poem’

‘awake before the sun is risen, i call for my pen and papers and desk.’

‘mechanics handle tools but we, unlettered and learned, promiscuously write poems’ (everyone writes poems, those both learned and unlearned)

poets live on husks and brown bread.

  • Idea: Poetry/Philosophy will last longer than pictures, sculpture, or other forms of art.

order our lives correctly; not our verses!

lets make a great life; not make great photos?

Let’s make connections; not photos.

write verses; write blog posts?

assume the spirit of an honest critic against myself!

‘I would rather be known as a foolish and dull writer (while having my faults please myself), than be known as others as ‘wise’.’

– I would rather be seen as a bad photographer and like my own photos, than have people like my photos (which i consider bad)

reject trifles.

leave childish lay to boys

‘not to scan words and be set to music’

‘be perfectly adept in the numbers and proportions of real life’

commune/talk with myself— and ponder ideas in silence.

we thirst only for (some) water; but unlimited fame and money.

‘i, whether borne in a large or small vessel, let me be borne uniform and the same.’

‘i am not wafted with swelling sail.’

is your breast free from vain ambition?

art of poetry

poet x painters

be a photographer painter ***

“Poets and painters [you will say] have ever had equal authority for attempting any thing.”

simple and uniform subject

‘i labor to be concise’ — work harder to make my photos, art, articles, brief.

’singular skill’

‘make choice of a subject suitable to your abilities’

‘words perish with old age’

don’t use new words.

don’t follow trends, or flashy stuff – stick to classics.

‘mortal works must perish’

Prefer to be ‘ignorant’ than ‘learned’

‘fall asleep or laugh’ (at bad art)

If you venture to create a new character; preserve the character until the last (same as beginning, consistency)

if i remake myself in life; i need to have a consistent character (until i die)

‘a public story will become your own property.’

No longer than 5 acts

on plays — no longer than 5 acts?

‘be neither shorter nor longer than the fifth act.’

Avoid deus machina

‘neither let a god interfere; nor let a fourth person be officious to speak’

  • Note: Music hasn’t survived from ancient times until now (modern music will die)— words will live on.

‘to have good sense, is the first principle and fountain of writing well.’

Find advice in ‘socratic papers’ (for subject matter)

‘the greeks, covetous of nothing but praise, the muse gave genius.’

‘poets wish either to profit or to delight’

make my poetry benefit/profit others — not to just please.

poets should…’deliver at once both the pleasures and the ncessaries of life.’

‘whatever precepts you give, be concise’

when i give advice- be concise!

‘all superfluous instructions flow from the too full memory.’

  • Write super-short tweet-like blog posts?

Painting x poetry

‘as is painting, so is poetry: some pieces will strike you more if you stand near, and some, if you are at a greater distance: one loves the dark; another, which is not afraid of the critic’s subtle judgment, chooses to be seen in the light; the one has pleased once, the other will give pleasure if ten times repeated.’

Some paintings are more powerful if you stand near. other paintings stronger when you stand far.

‘poetry, created and invented for the delight of our souls, if it comes short ever so little of the summit, sinks to the bottom’

‘Photography, created and invented for the delight of our souls, if it comes ever so little of the summit, sinks to the bottom.’

Understand the game of poetry // understand the game of photography

‘honor accrued to divine poets, and their songs.’

does good poetry come from nature or from art?

disregard people who tell you to alter your poetry or art:

“If you had recited any thing to Quintilius, he would say, “Alter, I pray, this and this:” if you replied, you could do it no better, having made the experiment twice or thrice in vain; he would order you to blot out, and once more apply to the anvil your ill-formed verses: if you choose rather to defend than correct a fault, he spent not a word more nor fruitless labor, but you alone might be fond of yourself and your own works, without a rival.”

censure ‘spiritless verses’

Delete verses without spirit

‘Censure spiritless photos’

“A good and sensible man will censure spiritless verses, he will condemn the rugged, on the incorrect he will draw across a black stroke with his pen; he will lop off ambitious [and redundant] ornaments; he will make him throw light on the parts that are not perspicuous; he will arraign what is expressed ambiguously; he will mark what should be altered.”