Σοφια

I’m back!

Yesterday I attended a fascinating lecture by Karen Bassi on death in tragedy, put on by the Institute of Classical Studies, and I remembered just how much I love academia.

But, it has to be noted, I don’t always love academia. I’m sure many Classicists would scoff at the very idea of translating modern songs into ancient Greek, and dismiss such a venture as an example of the ‘dumbing down’ of serious subjects. But whatever. I’m enjoying it. So here’s my next one!

I chose this song as I wanted to see whether reading sophia as ‘wisdom’ rather than as a name would change its meaning. In fact, the term comes up only thrice, and in the same sentence pattern each time. We read, “now, wisdom, I am wounded by dust”, rather than “now, Sophia…” However, if we capitalise Σοφια, as I have done here, she becomes the goddess, the physical and womanly embodiment of wisdom. Which is perhaps similar to what Laura Marling had in mind.

I became aware during this translation that I was all too happy to have lyrics repeated, meaning a copy and paste cop-out by me. I was reminded of the Homeric usage of stock phrases, and the theory suggesting that the Iliad and Odyssey are littered with such repetitive phrases in order to buy the travelling bard time to remember his place in the tale.

I also became aware that I had a lot of notes on my translation, and that it might be worth doing a commentary next time…

Anyway, enjoy – and I invite all Hellenists to give suggestions/corrections!

 

‘Σοφια’ – Λαυρα Μαρλιγγος

ὦ δε ποὑ πεφροντικα δεδοκα·

οὐ φροντιζε περι ἀρτι ἡν.

οὐ περι ὁστινα μου δερμα ἐψαυκα

οὐ ὁστινα εἰακα·

αἰσχυντηλος γαρ νυν εἰμι και ὀφθαλμοις ταλαιπωρομαι.

κονι δε τραυματιζω

πας δε ποὑ πεφροντικα δεδοκα

οὐ φροντιζε περι ἀρτι ἡν.

οὐ περι ὁστινα μου δερμα ἐψαυκα

οὐ ὁστινα εἰακα·

ταλαιπωρος γαρ νυν εἰμι και ὀφθαλμοις ταλαιπωρομαι.

ἐνιοντε μεν καθιημι ἠ ἀποβλεπω

ἠ βλεποντες οὐκ φροντιζω·   

σπανιος μεντοι ὠν, ἐνιοντε δει δακρυειν.

κονι δε τραυματιζω

ὁποτε συμβαλλει

σου γυναικα αἰθηρι προσειπε·

Και κωδων ψαλλομενος πανυστατῃ ἡμερῃ

ἐν γονοις ἐσεσθε ἱνα εὐχῃ

καλη γυνη εἰμι, και οὐποτε περι τον ἐργον ὁν αὐθημερον ἐπρηξας ἐφη.

οὐκ τις γυνη ἡ μελλων ἀντιποιεισθαι ἀλλα ἐφης πραγμα ἡμερᾳ δικων ἐρχεσθαι

νυν Σοφια

κονι τραυματιζω

ὁποτε συμβαλλει

σου γυναικα αἰθηρι προσειπε·

Και κωδων ψαλλομενος πανυστατῃ ἡμερῃ

ἐν γονοις ἐσεσθε ἱνα εὐχῃ

καλη γυνη εἰμι, και οὐποτε περι τον ἐργον ὁν αὐθημερον ἐπρηξας ἐφη.

οὐκ τις γυνη ἡ μελλων ἀντιποιεισθαι ἀλλα ἐφης πραγμα ἡμερᾳ δικων ἐρχεσθαι

νυν Σοφια

κονι τραυματιζω

νυν Σοφια

Sophia – Laura Marling

Oh I have been wondering where I have been pondering
Where I’ve been lately is no concern of yours
Who’s been touching my skin
Who have I been letting
Shy and tired eyed am I today

I’m wounded by dust
All I have been wondering where I have been pondering
Where I’ve been lately is no concern of yours
Who’s been touching my skin
Who have I been letting
Tried and tired eyed am I today

Sometimes I sit, sometimes I stare
Sometimes they look and sometimes I don’t care
Rarely I weep, sometimes I must
I’m wounded by dust

When the bell toll, when the bell gon’ chime
You better call for your woman up high
And when the bell tolls for your last day,
You’ll be getting down on your knees to pray
I’m a good woman and I never did say whatever it was that you did that day
I’m not a woman that is going to place claim but you said that it was coming on judgement day

Now Sophia
I’m wounded by dust

When the bell toll, when the bell gon’ chime
You better call for your woman up high
And when the bell tolls for your last day,
You’ll be getting down on your knees to pray
I’m a good woman and I never did say whatever it was that you did that day
I’m not a woman that is going to place claim but you said that it was coming on judgement day

Now Sophia
I’m wounded by dust
Now Sophia

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νοστος

I have, unfortunately, been neglecting this blog. I found nothing that I wanted to write about save for self-flagellating diatribes on how much I hated being away from my friends, or being sat behind a computer for 7 hours a day, or having to do the bloody London commuter life. I tried to forget about uni: I left every Exeter Facebook group and unfollowed every Classics-related Twitter account. I tried to embrace my new life, thinking that if I focussed on my career I’d miss uni less, and be happy. But truthfully, nothing has made me happier nor more excited than reading about PhD scholarships for next year. I don’t just miss uni, I miss Greek. I miss my department and my studying and my books. So… I’m not saying I’ll definitely do a PhD, but I decided that I need to get back to ancient Greek regardless. 

In my Masters year I won the ‘Creative Corner’ award in the departmental journal for my translation of Death Cab For Cutie’s song Pity and Fear, citing Aristotle as reason enough for this strange-sounding venture. I hugely enjoyed writing the prose composition, and found that it forced me to review my grammar skills in a way I hadn’t done since school. So I want to use this blog to rewrite a series of Classics-related songs into ancient Greek. For my own amusement, basically. Yes, I am a laugh.

So to start us off, here’s the piece I wrote for the journal least year.

Ἐλεος και φοβος are the principles which Aristotle regards as central to the success of a tragedy. Therefore I decided that Death Cab For Cutie’s song, ‘Pity and Fear’ would be a good fit for a prose composition.

‘Ἐλεος Και Φοβος’ – Θανατος Ἁρμα Τῳ Καλῳ

ἐγω τοσος οὑτῳ ξενῳ κοιμαμενῳ ἐγγυς μου φθονω

ὁς νυκτῳ ἐγειρεν και ἐν φαῳ της ἑως φευγεν

ἀφωνος, λαθρα, οὐτε ἐπινευσας οὐτε ταραξας

ἁμαρτιαν θ’ἁμαρτιαν ἁμαρτιαν παντοις αἰτιαται.

και μεν οὐδεν δακρυα ἐστιν

μονος δ’ἐλεος και φοβος

και μεγας χαραδρα

ἐν ἀκριβει μεσῳ

χειμοντος ἐπι τῳ ποντῳ ὀντος πρῳρα ἐσχισε και ἐγω ἀνετρεπον

και κατεδυσα που οὐδεποτε ἰεναι ὠμοσα.

εἰ οὐκ οἱος τ’ εἰ κατα χωραν μενειν, οὐκ οἱος τ’ εἰ το ἀποχωρειν πυνθανεσθαι.

των περιοντων, των μενοντων, των μενοντων, των μενοντων.

και μεν οὐδεν δακρυα ἐστιν

μονος δ’ἐλεος και φοβος

και μεγας χαραδρα

ἐν ἀκριβει μεσῳ

διοτι οὐδεν δακρυα ἐστιν

μονος δ’ἐλεος και φοβος

μεμηνμαι

και του ὠθισμου μαλλον ἠ πτωματος,

και του ὠθισμου μαλλον ἠ πτωματος.

And here are the lyrics in English for comparison:

Pity and Fear – Death Cab For Cutie

I have such envy for this stranger lying next to me

Who awakes in the night and slips out into the pre-dawn light

With no words, a clean escape, no promises or messes made

And chalks it all up to mistake, mistake, mistake

And there are no tears

Just pity and fear

And a vast ravine

Right in between

A storm at sea the bow cracked and I was capsizing

And I sunk below where I swore I would never go

If you can’t stand in place you can’t tell there’s walking away

From who remains, who stays, who stays, who stays

And there are no tears

Just pity and fear

And a vast ravine

Right in between

Cause there are no tears

Just pity and fear

And I recall

The push more than the fall

The push more than the fall

 

Zero Days of Happiness

Hello blog. Long time no see.

I didn’t manage to keep up 100 Days of Happiness. In my last post I spoke about how I would rather see it through to the end by posting photos a week at a time than stop half-way through. But I stopped, and I won’t be restarting.

I wanted to do 100 Days of Happiness because I wanted to remember that, no matter how overall bad a day was, I could always find at least one snapshot of something that made me smile. But life isn’t like that. Some days are just shit. And some days the things that make you happy aren’t the things you take photos of.

Today I went to the tombstone setting of the most unique and amazing person I ever met. It’s now a year and three months after her death, but it still hurts, and I still find myself thinking of her almost every day. I think of her when I walk to the station in the morning – I live near Arsenal, which she would have fucking hated as she was a massive Chelsea fan. I think of her when I walk past the synagogue near me – I’ve only ever been in one twice in my life, once for her funeral, and once today. I thought of her when the Manchester attacks happened – that Ariana Grande concert was exactly the kind of one she would have gone to, a massive stadium gig where she’d turn up five hours early to get to the front. I think of her all the time.

So today wasn’t really a day of happiness. It was a day of grief and mourning and remembrance. I cried and my friends cried and I felt so weak and shaky that I couldn’t sit still. I mourned for the life cut short, for the fact that she didn’t make it to 23 years old – her favourite number, and for the inevitable never-ending grief of her mum and dad and sister. I wish they didn’t have to go through it.

But, today was also a celebration of a hilarious, incredible, kind, clever girl who we all loved so deeply. She was a teacher and a clown and the best friend you’ll ever have, and quirky and funny and mad, and she was my Kels and I was her Kwis, and I will treasure the memories I have of her.

Today also gave me the opportunity to see friends I haven’t seen in years, and people I should catch up with more often. It also gave me the chance to laugh and reminisce, despite all the sadness. So I guess I did find a glimmer of happiness in a sad day.

The point is, taking photos of random parts of my day just to pretend that there was some shining light of joy which made it all okay seems ridiculous. Or at least unrealistic. But I knew I had to write again and end the 100 Days of Happiness for a reason. I’ll write when I want to write, not when I feel that I have to post a picture for the sake of a hashtag. And today, I wanted to write.

I miss you Kels. I hope you know how loved you were and are.

All my woofs,

Lil’ Kwis

100 Days of Happiness: Day 57

Snapchat-20101371.jpg

EDIT: this accidentally saved in my drafts rather than posting! Quelle domage!

2nd May 2017

My Happy for today is easy to identify. I went to an alumni lecture by my old Classics department, and loved every second of it. I miss uni, but love that Classics is still and always will be part of my identity.

100 Days of Happiness: Days 52-56

Another week, another montage of photos because i havent been able to do one every day!

I’ve had a good week. It’s been busy at work, which is always preferable, and I’ve had a lovely bank holiday weekend. My overall Happy was seeing Muncie Girls at Boileroom Guildford, a great gig which made me want to start a band. But then, every gig makes me want to do that.

100 Days of Happiness: Days 44-50

18th-24th April 2017

What aimed to be a daily update has turned into weekly. But that’s okay! Because this challenge is all about happiness. And I certainly won’t find happiness by beating myself up for not posting on a blog every day.

The last week had some lows, e.g. a snap general election which probably means that the Tories will win in a landslide and will rule over us forever. But I’m motivated to stop that happening, to spread information, and to fuck the Tories.

The week also involved an odd day of wandering around London, researching Friends and Members schemes of arts and culture organisations. I got through about 10 podcasts and over 35,000 steps that day.

I also met up with a couple of friends from school, which was lovely. I’m v happy that I have kept in touch with people, and don’t feel awkward with them despite how many years have passed.

The weekend just passed was filled with happiness: I went mountain biking with my boyfriend and loved it. Even though I crashed head-first into a tree. What a squid.

SO, here are some fairly unrelated photos. But these are the things I felt like I wanted to take photos of the time, so it clearly shows what makes me happy. Street art (from my London wanderings), nice countryside (from a walk with my boyfriend), and my vegetable tart about to go in the over (from… dinner).

100 Days of Happiness: Days 39-43

April 13th – 17th

Again, I’m gonna have to do a montage of photos because I forgot to upload stuff every day. But who doesn’t love a montage?

I had a lovely bank holiday weekend. My Happy for Thursday was seeing Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime with my boyfriend and his family, which was an excellent play and a lot of fun generally. Friday was a generally lovely day, playing tennis with my boyfriend and sister and brunching with them and a friend, followed by Dancing With Dave and the Radio X team. Saturday was a less fun day, given my shame hangover (and alcohol hangover) from Friday night, but my Happy was returning home to Merstham to see my mumma. I was a lot less vommy on Sunday, and loved playing tennis (again) with the fam and cooking an incredible nut roast.

Generally, my Happiness over the Easter weekend has come from seeing the people I love and doing the things that make me feel alive, like listening to music and exercising and cooking. I’m pretty content right now, really.

100 Days of Happiness: Days 34- 38

7th – 12th April 2017

I am terrible at keeping this up! But here are a selection of things that make me happy in the last few days.

I bloody love the sun. Sitting outside in my mum’s garden, drinking pimms and painting mirror frames made me pretty damn happy over the weekend.

Had a great #nationalsiblingsday playing tennis with my sister. I’ll pretend I won.

I had a lovely day on Saturday – ran round Finsbury Park and my new books delivered.

The last photo is just the cutest pig in the world.