Tag Archives: Ovid

A Transformations Poetry Special: Pictures and Audios

18 Sep

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Supported with public funding by Arts Council England. Supported by Norfolk County Council

 

In this post I want to place a focus on the poetry featured in our exhibition in King’s Lynn. 60 of the over 100 poems written throughout our 15 month collaboration were featured in the exhibition. We managed to get a broad range of the poetry  read out loud across the 3 days. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get audios of everything, but we do have some great moments we’d like to share, particularly with attendees reading the transformers’ poetry aloud, sometimes not having read poetry for years.

Here’s an audio of one lady doing exactly that- amazing…:

 

 

The engagement with the spoken word was impressive across the whole weekend, whether child or adult. Even people who came in and said ‘poetry wasn’t their thing’ seemed to soon change their minds when they heard some of the transformers read their poetry out loud. Karin read her Book 13 poem Hecuba’s Pain to a lady who said she didn’t ‘get’ poetry. However, as soon as she engaged with the emotion behind the words of Karin’s poem and responded to Karin’s interpretation she changed her mind. She is now going to give it a go! Here’s the reading that altered her perception. 

 

 

I also came across another interesting prejudice which was that poetry is an inferior form to prose. I had a energetic debate with a man who could not see the purpose of it… I fought poetry’s corner, and this encounter has firmed up my intention to try and shake-up a bit how our attendees in future projects meet what we create….Perhaps even challenging the idea of the word ‘exhibition’ and all that the word intimates. Anyway, that’s another story….

 

Here below, is a visual, poetry foam board extravaganza for you. Showing the variety of forms, styles and themes, and an idea of the journey they made from box to stand (click to enlarge the pictures):

 

 

There are more images to come as the pictures roll in…. We’ll  also do a special on the art from the exhibition  and on the impact of the Transformers coming together in real time.

To leave you. Here’s an audio of Adam Wimbush’s poem from Book 15, Epilogue. Summing up, I think, what Transformations has been all about:

 

 

Thanks so much for your interest!

 

All good wishes,

Nicky

P.S. Big thanks to Transformer Gill Offley who took so many of these great photos! 

We’re Funded! (ArtiPeeps Update)

7 Aug

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I haven’t put out an ArtiPeeps Update for a while because I’ve been immersed in all things Transformations. However, I received very good news this week that the grant bid I put in to The Arts Council, England has been successful and because of that too we now have match funding from Norfolk County Council who are helping towards the costs of the hire Hanse House.

 

So I am honoured to say that we are now funded by:

Print

 

 

 

and supported by:

 

New-NCC-logos-3

 

 

The fact we have secured this support is a real testament to the talents of all those involved: The Transformers and The Code Crimson and the quality of their work. They have all contributed to the success of this application. The Arts Council grant is also particularly significant as it is public money. I don’t take this fact lightly.

I am also thrilled because it means that the sort of large-scale, collaborative projects that ArtiPeeps is providing is fundable. It is very rewarding to feel that funders have seen the  artistic and creative merit in what we are trying to do.  This bodes very well for our next project starting in October called The Nine Realms which will follow in a similar pattern to Transformations but will last nine months.

The exhibition is now just over a month away and thanks to our funding I can now instigate services such as the framing of the 7 pictures for the Transformers who are outside of the UK, or who can’t get to the exhibition geographically within the UK. Everything, I have to say, is feeling very real (in a good way).  Printing the leaflets and posters has also had to wait because all the promotional material has to have funder logos on them. However, now we have them we’re away! The flyer and leaflet should be available next week. Watch this space….

The next few weeks will have me finishing off the soft copy book and pdf and ebook (if there is time…this might now have to be completed after the exhibition…). We’re also  going to various schools in King’s Lynn to promote the exhibition and comic strip so they can take part in our schools day.      

The Arts Council grant is given to projects and initiatives that show artistic excellence, and it is my intention to keep providing new, high quality and varied  opportunities for creatives as we move forward and grow as an organisation.

I’ll post another update shortly.

 As ever, thank you for your interest!

‘Ends and Beginnings’ Circle 3/4: Transformations Poems (Book 15)

14 May

TRANSFORMATIONS

George Braque Metamorphoses

February 2013-March 2014

17 poets, 15 months, creating 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

See the Transformations Page for more details or the ‘Present Collaborations’ Tab

__________________

Poems Inspired by Book 15

.Featuring:

James Knight and Eleanor Perry

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 The Assassination and Transfigeration of Julius Caesar

-a mannequin ballet

by James Knight

Book 15 James

…………………………………………………………….

an unwrap in flux

by Eleanor Perry

An Unwrap in Flux by Nell Perry Book 15

 

 

 

 

You can find more about James here:

http://thebirdking.com/

https://twitter.com/badbadpoet

 

You can find more about Nell here:

 https://twitter.com/nellperry

http://themusicofbreakages.wordpress.com/

 

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BE THERE AT THE START AND HELP US MAKE THE VIRTUAL REAL

14 Poets, 15 artists, 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

Consider pledging:

Transformations Kickstarter Campaign:

http://kck.st/1i2e721

Campaign Video:

http://goo.gl/khucJx

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‘Ends and Beginnings’ Circle 2/4: Transformations Poems (Book 15)

6 May

TRANSFORMATIONS

George Braque Metamorphoses

February 2013-March 2014

17 poets, 15 months, creating 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

See the Transformations Page for more details or the ‘Present Collaborations’ Tab

__________________

Poems Inspired by Book 15

.Featuring:

Rebecca Audra Smith and Nat Hall

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Vivam

by Rebecca Audra Smith

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I cut off my hair
cast it into the waters
I turn all I see into stone

applause achelordes aegina aeolia virgo

pages turn
words sink
coral hardens

bind byblis

I cut off my hair
cast it into the waters
pages turn

chalciope chariclo cornix creak

birds are calling
they have men
hidden deep in their chests

deoia dercetis dymantis dour

I cut off my hair
cast it into the waters
the poet shall live

egeria erigone eriays eerie

birds sing
they are of the flesh
of the books of Ovid

hebe hecate hecuba helle hyale hail

I turn all I see into stone
I cut off my hair
cast it into the waters

illithyia ire

Aurora has been weeping
for her children again
sky bitter lemon stained

latois latona laugh

planets turn
I cut off my hair
cast it into the waters

menthe mestra muse

heron claps
it’s wings
over ruins

nyeteis nyctimene nestle

I cut off my hair
cast it into the waters
the poet shall live

ocyrhoe ophias open

they can tell you
the story of every rock
they can tell sorrows
fit to freeze

pasiphae perimele philomela pyrrha poignant

I cut off my hair
cast it into the waters
I turn all I see into stone

rhanis rustle

have you seen the bees
born of bull’s carcass?
have you seen the frogs
born of mud?

scylla semele semiramis smilax speak

pages turn
I cut off my hair
cast it into the waters

telethusa tellus tale

we take
to the skies
to crow stories

venilia vesta veer

I cut off my hair
cast it into the waters
pages turn
the poet shall live

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Pebbles don’t lie

by Nat Hall

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They may wander from coast to coast,
turn chameleon or
magpie,
deep
inside
ink from
poets’ hands,
blood from
mortals,
turn black to white;

deeper inside
the great galactic placenta,
home of stardust, rocks & comets,
where gods can feed
freely from
dreams,
minds
from
scholars,
heavers of
wisdom, theorems,
and hear their own stories alive,
as they emerge from a
parallel universe.

Now feel
perpetual state of flux –

fire,
water, air
around earth,
polished stones,
shammy-leathered
verse,
prophetic as city builders,
metamorphic in cosmic wombs.

And if you think I’m a liar,
come walk with me
on edge of
tide;
you too
will collect your pebbles
somewhere along
the wheel of
life.

Pythagoras was a
genius.

© Nat Hall 2014

 

You can find more about Rebecca here:

http://beccaaudra.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/BeccaAudra

 

You can find more about Nat here:

http://nordicblackbird.weebly.com/index.html

https://twitter.com/nordicblackbird

 

 

Tomorrow we’ll be sharing Ben Cooper’s last FreeSpace with ArtiPeeps. Thank you, as always, for your interest.

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BE THERE AT THE START AND HELP US MAKE THE VIRTUAL REAL

14 Poets, 15 artists, 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

Do take a look.

Transformations Kickstarter Campaign:

http://kck.st/1i2e721

Campaign Video:

http://goo.gl/khucJx

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‘Ends and Beginnings’ Circle 1/4: Transformations Poems (Book 15)

1 May

TRANSFORMATIONS

George Braque Metamorphoses

February 2013-March 2014

17 poets, 15 months, creating 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

See the Transformations Page for more details or the ‘Present Collaborations’ Tab

__________________

Poems Inspired by Book 15

.Featuring:

Greg Mackie and Carol Robson

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HOPE AND DEFIANCE

by Greg Mackie Book 15

 

Her father died down the pit,
and her mother, bitter,
threw plates and angry words.

This was her history –
the filter through which
we sought to understand her,
and by extension, ourselves.

And though I may sit here,
cynical and tired, 
and claim that the chains of destiny
are as fragile
as the chains of an aging mineshaft lift –
I don’t truly believe that.

The chains of our destiny
were forged with hope and defiance:
we survived wars and accidents and disease,
we walked on mud tracks and tarmac and the thin dust of the moon;
we built a world in our image – 
brave and bold and beautiful and ugly and stark and cruel and tender.

And though I may sit here,
cynical and tired, 
I look inside myself
and see the values that she passed on.

“People are good.”

“Everybody is equal.”

“Nothing is worth more
than a human life.”

There are days,
everything contradicts this –

Ideas may be indestructible,
but values melt in the sun,
and so we encapsulate them in legends,
pass them down through the generations,
bestow them an eternity,
in the company of men and gods and wolves and snakes.

And though I may sit here,
cynical and tired, 
I open a book,
a poem of transformations,
and the very last line,
the very last thought,
a declaration,
of hope and defiance –

“I will live!”

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 Veggie

(Pythagoras)

by Carol Robson

 

In thy mathematical mind
that strains beyond calculus
in theorem of life
that shall not be taken
for the sustenance of another.

All life be precious
for blessed reincarnation
for all life’s creatures
as in human life we wish
to return in form,
of whatever is blessed.

We should not feast on the beast
that perchance you devour
a relative or friend
that passed and returned,
in true transmigration of soul.

Our perfect abstention,
from feasting on another life,
to only feed on mother earth’s bounty
that sustains us in body and soul
that keeps us in harmony for reincarnation,
for continuation of our soul transmigration.

© Carol Robson 2014

 

You can find more about Greg here:

https://twitter.com/FrenzyOfFlies

http://frenzyofflies.wordpress.com/

 

You can find more about Carol here:

https://twitter.com/Chakracaz

http://carolrobson.com/

 

Tomorrow we’ll be sharing another Weekend Showcase featuring artist Jack Morris
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Thank you for your interest.

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BE THERE AT THE START AND HELP US MAKE THE VIRTUAL REAL

14 Poets, 15 artists, 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

Do take a look.

Transformations Kickstarter Campaign:

http://kck.st/1i2e721

Campaign Video:

http://goo.gl/khucJx

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‘Monsters and Rites’ Scratch 4/4: Transformations Poems (Book 14)

25 Apr

TRANSFORMATIONS

George Braque Metamorphoses

February 2013-March 2014

17 poets, 15 months, creating 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

See the Transformations Page for more details or the ‘Present Collaborations’ Tab

__________________

Poems Inspired by Book 14

.Featuring:

Nat Hall

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Glaucus and Syclla Book 14

Glaucus and Syclla

 

Syclla

 

Au dire du
désir et l’oracle,
à l’encre
bleue,
algue, indigo,
je te dessine dans un
arcane, toi, svelte
Syclla,
nymphe à la chevelure océanne.
#transformations
Listen to
lust & oracle –
in blue,
sea weedy, indigo,
I sketch you in
an arcanum,
slender
Syclla,
you, the nymph with
warm ocean’s
hair.

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You can find more about Nat here:

https://twitter.com/nordicblackbird

http://nordicblackbird.weebly.com/index.html

 

Nat’s poem Syclla is the last poem from Book 14 as we now head into the last book of Metamorphoses and to the deification of Caesar Augustus.  The last month of this season will be sprinkled with the Transformers poetry on Book 15.  
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Have a good weekend-all. 

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BE THERE AT THE START AND HELP US MAKE THE VIRTUAL REAL

14 Poets, 15 artists, 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamoprphoses

Do take a look.

Transformations Kickstarter Campaign:

http://kck.st/1i2e721

Campaign Video:

http://goo.gl/khucJx

new-badge5
.

‘Monsters and Rites’ Scratch 3/4: Transformations Poems (Book 14)

14 Apr

TRANSFORMATIONS

George Braque Metamorphoses

February 2013-March 2014

17 poets, 15 months, creating 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

See the Transformations Page for more details or the ‘Present Collaborations’ Tab

__________________

Poems Inspired by Book 14

.Featuring:

Karin Heyer and James Knight

 

Persuasion not force

(Pomona and Vertumnus)

by Karin Heyer

 

Weaving, weaving story into story
Pomona in her garden
stood and listened.
He told her that he loved her —
it was in vain.
She tended her garden,
never any want of watering,
that is how her garden grew
into a magical creation
of living growth and beauty.
He still told her that he loved her:
it was in vain!
For her he changed his thought and appearance,
he used all manner of persuasion,
for she was his first and last love
and behold
a fairy-tale ends well,
the dream is there,
unhampered as the angels,
she paid homage
and listened
to her first and last love.

 

Scylla

by James Knight

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She movement
wading moments

was as waist some forced clad of deep mountainous up in waving into mass to some gently of the kind to pool flesh top and only surged amid soft up a white

Before find through mass stuff
of which gates
water narrow blood
clung there around
orifice and close sat

On her as slime to either groin though
and her side erupt forced what form
with yelping shape monsters

The at power
thinking opening
the infinite entrails
her
the part smaller of sinuous waste
of a figure and
her
itself monster

She fair
foul shreds close-fitting in retreats fragments

fur and fears
white enormous skin bulk dazzling
as were white serpent pushes of forced coiled arm’d

With seeking into colour wide
her gigantic larger dazzled Cerberian thighs
lizard space
when mouths her
or disclosed the full legs
serpent sections sun

Worm
her hideous voice
peal lull Adam
when jaws pause

Sir Cerberus’s seething had and would

She contents seen sweet creep stands of looking
If the raging hole
the soft disturb’d dogs
rose trees dominant
note her by eyes
womb beasts

And below bubbling emerald-green sibilation kennel
the spring flickering her surface and like hands yet from Adam great too
there which saw lamps were still her part
long bark’d truncated
of a flexible and thighs the gale white howl’d

Within and thin with unseen belly form a

Scylla emerge of strange comes

.

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You can find more about Karin and James here:

Karin, as yet,  does not have a website

James Knight

http://thebirdking.com/

https://twitter.com/badbadpoet

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Tomorrow  you will find the second of our ‘Supporting Mental Health’ Anxiety and Release Collaborations featuring poet Rod Kok and artist Heather Burns. Definitely worth a look! Thank you, as ever, for your interest.
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‘Monsters and Rites’ Scratch 2/4: Transformations Poems (Book 14)

10 Apr

TRANSFORMATIONS

George Braque Metamorphoses

February 2013-March 2014

17 poets, 15 months, creating 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

See the Transformations Page for more details or the ‘Present Collaborations’ Tab

__________________

Poems Inspired by Book 14

.Featuring:

Richard Biddle and Eleanor Perry

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A Spell

by Richard Biddle

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A Spell

 Please click for bigger image.

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Seventh

by Eleanor Perry

Seventh by Nell Perry Book 14

 

You can find more about Richard and Eleanor here:

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Richard Biddle

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Eleanor Perry

http://www.zonepoetrymagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/nellperry

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Tomorrow our  Weekend Showcase will feature poet Stephanie Brennan. Thank you, as ever, for your interest.
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‘Monsters and Rites’ Scratch 1/4: Transformations Poems (Book 14)

3 Apr

TRANSFORMATIONS

George Braque Metamorphoses

February 2013-March 2014

17 poets, 15 months, creating 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

See the Transformations Page for more details or the ‘Present Collaborations’ Tab

__________________

Poems Inspired by Book 14

.Featuring:

Adam Wimbush and Rebecca Audra Smith

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Sniffing the Art Frost

by Adam Wimbush

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In an orbital temple given to a goddess
She raised them, inspired them.
And in thine honour metamorphed them, but
She had learnt to hate cycles.

Ploughing their last great-hearted incantations,
Scylla and mutual friends greeted my mind,
To ask of those eyes framed with wrinkles,
Those deep wells filled with spells and herbs.

Said I “Crave no cure for beast splicing.
To delirium. That is where I circle pray.
I come to vent her rage.”
Years dropped like feather bombs.

Nor perhaps my wounds; Skin Trophys,
From burgaling the Gods.
I found new unexpectedness.
I was loved and pleased, and,
Like incense burning we slipped into old age.
Our magic like a mist obscuring the soul.

….

With many a frenzy, horror filled me bristles.
Call Moly; a white bloom with a tough wide snout,
Fell over my heads as I watched
Belching chieftains from the main hills.
Anti-fates was back. Rising cautiously.
As the waves feared the bright sun.
It told of how scents ruled the air.

Keep well away from her erogenous zones,
For who really knows the earth?
As we pad ungratefully upon her crust.

But my thoughts wagged like excited puppy tails.
There were tons of changes, but,
I lacked the great bloody gobbets and thought flecks,
For I was born among the flux.
I felt the weight of the universe,
As I slithered in me roots.

I say all this mixed up from wine.
She is woven with plant cells,
from wood nymphs, shores and more.

No? They were our epic ripples too.

……

The worst was westward way.
Muses for the nymphs fair course.
Then gathering a glittering camp,
She rushed her smouldering charge of electricity,
She intertwined twice and twice she tamed the wild prey.

Leaping nimbly from ancient text,
We found her snaking within the long rivers of his veins,
My foam flecked woman.
And only the mad could tell the tale,
Of fostering Venus, who when a horse,
Favoured my passion shapes.

Black out. Lights burnt out.
Then eastward where lofty beasts are slow meat,
They are claimed by ghostly swarms instead.
Picks turn over the soil of fear.
As I recalled I was nowhere, nothing happened.

Now accept us.

…..

Many deserve her anger.
She replaced her wings and mimicked oceans.

Together tossed in the sound storm,
I drove the lusty ship to the end.
The last kiss from her smiling scythe like lips.

Remember we are both ends of the light beam.
We wear the perfume of science.
Farm the pastures of conflicts.

In short we are all lost in the webbed heaven of ideas,
And all the ancient apples and bitter berries of Eden
Cannot disguise this disguise.

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Glaucus and Scylla

by Rebecca Audra Smith

‘Sooner than my love will change, leaves will grow on the waters,

and sea-weed will grow on the hills.’

Sooner than my love will change
pigs will fly,
men turn to pigs,
fish marry birds.
You will speak in the tongue
of transformed animals.
You will bay and hoot
and snort.

My love will not grapple
as Peleus and Thetis did.
Her shape rolling and tearing
and mutating.
My love will be rock steady,
as steady as Scylla,
monsters deep in the water,
stone gripping her veins.

 

You can find more about Adam and Rebecca here:

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Adam Wimbush

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Rebecca Audra Smith

http://beccaaudra.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/BeccaAudra

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Tomorrow our  Weekend Showcase, will feature Wood Sculptor Mark Crawley. Thank you, as ever,  for your interest.
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Metamorphoses Book 15 Last Overview and Prompts: Transformations Collaborative Poetry Project

27 Mar
George Braque Metamorphoses

George Braque Metamorphoses

TRANSFORMATIONS

Started in February 2013, 17 poets, 15 months,  creating 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid‘s Metamorphoses

See the Transformations Page For More Details

Here we are at the end of March with our deadline for Book 14  poetry being today Thursday 27th March

This post sets out to provide an overview of the last book of Metamorphoses Book 15 with a deadline for the poems inspired by this  book being Wednesday 30th April.  This is the last overview I’ll be writing for this particular collaboration. I’ve learned a lot from doing them.

The latest batch of Book 13 poems went out yesterday and featured KARIN HEYER and ELEANOR PERRY  (here).  Book 14 and 15 poems will be posted out across April and May.

If you missed out on some of the other  Book 13 poems you can find them  here, here, here . I’ve also created a ‘Transformations Poems Tab’ on the site menu for ease of access if you want to see more.

Thank you to all those who have taken an interest in these overviews, and to all those in the Transformations project who have stuck with it through until the end. It means a lot. Here’s to the next one!

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Overview of Book 15: 

In this book we are transported into the present time of Ovid’s world. It is a space where mortals are turned into Gods, and imperial order is established and where battle is transformed into peace.  Ovid initially, rather than moving forward chronologically leaps forward in time to focus on Romulus’ successor Numa (where he is told the tale of Myscelus and Hercules). In  book 15 notions of morality are questioned (Mysecelus); the character of Pythagoras is foregrounded so the origins and causes of life can be explored retrospectively; and Ovid uses the character of Hippolytus to re-introduce notions of heroism. The book is finished with an Epilogue which serves to delve into the relationship between poet, poem and longevity.

 Summary of the Tales in Book 15

Pythagoras

Pythagoras

 Meanwhile the question is who will sustain
The burden of so great a charge, who can
Succeed so great a monarch. For the throne
Fame, truths prophetic herald nominates
Illustrious Numa
 
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The Myths and Key Characters: Myscelus, Pythagoras, Egeria and Hippolytus, Cipus, Aesculapius, The Apotheosis of Julius Ceasar, Epilogue

.Hercules

..

Myscelus

 In a dream Myscelus (a descendent of Hercules) sees a vision of Hercules (the son of Zeus). He tells him to leave the city (which was at the time an act with a penalty of death attached to it). As he prepares to leave he is captured and tried for his crime. However, a serendipitous transformation occurs  as the voting pebbles used in the court change from black (guilt) to white (innocence) occurs, and he is allowed to leave. He departs to build a new city.

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Pythagoras 2

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..

Pythagoras

We move on to see Pythagoras (greek philosopher and mathematician) describe at length to Numa (second king of Rome) , how the universe came into being. He covers such themes as divinity and  the origin and causes of life.

Over the previous two books in Metamorphoses we have seen Hercules, Aeneas and Romulus deified; transformed from mortals to gods.  Pythagoras’ speech almost acts as a long recapitulation of everything that we have read previously. The speech ranges from touching on: vegetarianism (Cyclops in book 13 and Lycaon in book 1 in the Iron Age); the idea of sacrifice (to fulfil the desires of the gods); and notions of the human soul (which can just as easily be held in a non-human form).

Pythagoras goes on to address the theme of death and old age (which we are not to dread). Neither are we to fear the Underworld as our souls are immortal. He indicates that all is in flux including time:

All is in flux. Any shape that is formed is constantly shifting (Lively:146)

We then move on to the concept of cosmology. In book one we saw chaos and disorder, and here at the end we are once again thrown into a similar cosmic chaos where the elements are thrown into asunder.  There is a perpetual state of flux between earth, air, fire and water. Pythagoras posits that the cosmos is in eternal competition with its elements. Once again this description could be describing Metamorphoses, the book, itself.  Pythagoras takes us through creation and the formation of bodies of water and transformations of geography. He then takes us through a list of cities and their fate: ‘the rise and fall of civilisations and cultures’ (147). They range from Sparta to Rome with Aeneas’ power transforming the city into a super-power.  Pythagoras makes a prophecy that Rome will be the greatest of all cities and the most powerful. However, if everything is flux, surely this cannot be permanently true? Ovid does not declare that this power will be permanent. Rome can still be transformed. It’s power may not last.

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Egeria and Hippolytus 

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Egeria and Hippolytus

Numa took Pythagoras’ tenets and used them to reign over the states he ruled over- in peace and in war, until he died.  Egeria, his wife flees into the woods full of sorrow where he meets Hippolytus (son of Theseus)  worshipping at an alter for Diana (goddess of the hunt, moon and birthing). Hippolytus tells of his own troubles in order to salve Egeria’s grief.

In bringing in Hippolytus at this time he re-introduces the notion of a Roman hero and transformation (as Hippolytus, wounded is healed and resurrected by Apollo (god of light, sun, truth and prophecy) and Diana. Once changed he reigned over Latium in Italy under the name of Virbius. Hippolytus’ journey represents great strength and fortitude.

As Philip Hardie puts it, this movement is:

‘one of the culminating moments in the accelerating movement of the last books of the poem from the Greek to the Roman world. ‘ (Liveley: 140)

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Cipus

Cipus

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Cipus

Even though Hippolytus has tried to cheer Egeria up, her sorrow is still not assuaged.  She weeps so much that she dissolves into her own tears. Both Diana and Hippolytus are amazed at this. Ovid uses this story to jump into a sequence of transformations and tales which involve amazement, particularly that of Cipus (a famous Roman general) who one day found horns growing out of his head. This tale seems oddly placed within the narrative as Ovid uses it to  jump to the telling of a later period of Roman history.

Cipus returns from a battle conquest and finds horns coming out of his head, confused he goes to a seer and is told  he is Rome’s new king.  However, Cipus is a republican and rejects the kingship. He is exiled and lives outside the city walls. By way of thanks the people of the land give him as a reward as much land as he can plough; and a memorial is carved on the city gates.

It is Cipus, within this tale, that finally brings in the figure of Julius Ceasar who also had refused to accept his crown, and in so doing Ovid brings the story nearer to his own times.

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220px-Asklepios_-_Epidauros

Aesculapius

Aesculapius

Ovid calls to the Muses as he begins to tell the story of Aesculapius (a man-made God) celebrated in Rome for healing a devastating illness that fell upon the people and which brought about their destruction.

In the form of a snake, the god is welcomed into Rome with great verve comparable to those welcomes of the great generals like Julius Caesar. The masses  gather to welcome him. As Aescalapius sheds his snake skin the people are healed of their disease. As Julius Caesar would heal the politics of Rome.

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Augustus Caesar

Augustus Caesar

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The Apotheosis of Julius Caesar

We enter the age of Augustus (founder of the Roman Empire).

In this section of Metamorphoses Ovid ignores Caesar’s deeds in preference to focusing on his metamorphosis.  He reminds us that it is in fact Augustus that made Caesar a god. This is a reversal of the deifications we have seen previously, where mortals were made gods for their great acts of bravery (Hercules, Aeneas, Romulus).  Caesar is made god because of the divinity of his chikdren. Ovid argues that Augustus must be the son of god, therefore Caesar must be that god. Ovid then turns to Venus, as the mother of Rome, who has concerns for Caesar. She tries to save Caesar from the murderous plotting that surrounds him. However she cannot save him as the Fates will not allow it.  Jupiter reassures Venus of her destiny. He states that Caesarr will die, be made a god and Augustus will take over. Augustus is praised on high.  The same level of attention to the Caesars is given in the final book as in book 1 in order to balance the tale at its conclusion.

Ovid returns us to the beginning. The whole continuous poem has been an exploration of the causes that have lead up to this moment- to the Age of Augustus.

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Ovid Rocks

Ovid

Epilogue

Here in the epilogue we are treated to one, final, concluding transformation, that of Ovid himself: that with the existence of Metamorphoses his life will be perpetuated. He will be immortalised by his work. As Lively puts it: ‘the poet will become his own poetry’ (153).  And as the ages pass and change so will he, in flux- his identity and life embeded in his poem.

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Themes, Analysis and Relevance

In Book 15 some of the following ideas and themes are explored:

  •  Overview of History:  In conclusion Ovid takes on an eclectic journey engaging with both battle and quietude. Giving us a very particular take on the journey he has lead us through.
  • Origins and Causes of Life: Through the character of Pythagoras Ovid engages with the impermanence and flux of life and how this connects to notions of mortality. How men are made immortal through deification and the ramifications of this. He looks back through the previous books to do so.
  • Notions of Heroism: In this last book Hippolytus, a great Roman hero, wounded badly,  is saved by Apollo from dying bringing into question the exact nature of heroism.  Is Hippolytus really a hero if he has been saved by a god? Hippolytus endures and prevails against all odds, but what is the real value of this?
  • The immortality of a Poet through his Poem: The relation between a writer and their work has been explored perpetually by writers themselves and by critics. By creating a poem about creation, renewal and death that embodies prehistory and history Ovid immortalises himself for the rest of time by his endeavour.

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Things of Interest:

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The Importance of Ovid

http://www.editoreric.com/greatlit/authors/Ovid.html

 

Hippolytus by Euripides

http://classics.mit.edu/Euripides/hippolytus.html

 

Magic

by Ovid:

YE elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves,
And ye that on the sands with printless foot
Do chase the ebbing Neptune, and do fly him
When he comes back, you demi-puppets that
By moonshine do the green sour ringlets make,
Whereof the ewe not bites; and you whose pastime
Is to make midnight mushrooms, that rejoice
To hear the solemn curfew; by whose aid,
Weak masters though ye be, I have bedimm’d
The noontide sun, call’d forth the mutinous winds,
And ‘twixt the green sea and the azur’d vault
Set roaring water; to the dread rattling thunder
Have I given fire, and rifted Jove’s stout oak
With hiw own bolt; the strong-bas’d promontory
Have I made shake, and by the spurs pluck’d up
The pine and cedar; graves at my command
Have wak’d their sleepers, op’d, and let ’em forth
By my so potent art.

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/magic-58/

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Optional Prompts and Verse Form

Prompts:  Storm, Hero, Sins, Mystery, Filaments, Dreams, Mountains, Violin, Perishing, Childhood

 

Verse Form:  

Hir a Thoddaid

Is the most common form of a welsh form of verse called the Awdl

Each line has 10 syllables – in no particular metre, though I seem to have lapsed into iambic pentameter here. All lines of each stanza, except for the penultimate one, rhyme together in the conventional way. The penultimate line rhymes with them all in an unconventional way – its seventh, eighth or ninth syllable contains the rhyme. Furthermore, the word at the end of the penultimate line rhymes with a word somewhere in the middle of the last line.

The first 4 lines are the hir, and the last two are the toddaid (which mutates to thoddaid when you put the phrase together, due to the endearing peculiarities of the Welsh language). The hir can have 2 lines or 6, rather than the 4 used here, but all its lines must always rhyme together.

See here for more information.

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n.b. I will shortly put up  an audio of the Epilogue in case any of you are too busy to read the book.

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Watch out for more poetry inspired by Book  14 and 15  coming out throughout March and April.

To confirm: the deadline for Book 1 Poetry is today Wednesday 30th April

 

 

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References:

Brunauer, Dalma H (1996) The Metamorphoses of Ovid, New Jersey Research and Education Association

Hughes, T (1997) Tales from Ovid, London: Faber and Faber

Liveley, G. (2011) Ovid’s Metamorphoses, A Reader’s Guide,  London: continuum

Ovid (1986) Metamorphoses, World Classics, tr. A.D. Melville, Oxford: Oxford University Press

 

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