Monday, June 16, 2008

Peonies End: Nihil est ab omni parte beatum.

Laetus in praesens animus
quod ultra est oderit curare
et amara lento temperet risu.
Nihil est ab omni parte beatum.

--Horace, Odes 2.16

Translation (thanks to Amy P.):

A soul happy for the present
disdains to be concerned about what is beyond
and tempers bitterness with a slow smile.
Nothing is all ways blessed.


momo said...

Just know that the lone peony in our garden just bloomed for the first time two days ago, and I have cut some blooms to put in a Chinese ginger jar. We will have a another week or so at least of blooming. I think it's because this spot doesn't get much sun.

Anonymous said...

I lOve you! Those shriveling petals look like abandoned fairies' party dresses after an early summer's all- night dance extravaganza. Big ups for providing the translation. I don't know much 'bout Latin and Ancient Greek, but I love etymology and the tanslattion whelped me comprehend the interconnectednesss of the languages of our Mother!


Anonymous said...


I don't know if the "tanslattion" helped me or "whelped" me, but I did not discover any darling slimey baby canine neonates or afterbirth on the computer chair when I got up, so I guess it just helped, not "whelped". Too much Jewish wedding partying with fairies and Lesbians last night at a wonderful celebration at Beth Jacob. Trying to force myself not to look at keyboard while typing so much!


Anonymous said...

Ah, Horace, How perfect!...even for cancer survivors. (see Miscellany post) And those fragile peonies will bloom again next spring, as much a fragrant miracle as they were just a few days ago.

fresca said...

Momo: I've noticed that my neighbor's peonies (which I've been photographing) are indeed a bit ahead of many others. They are full-blast southern exposed, in a walled area, so they get all-sun, no-wind.
How perfect a blue and white jar must be for peonies!
Perhaps you will post a photo?

Stefala!!! Your image makes me sigh and think of Midsummer Night's Dream... You are magic.
And I too love to see the original language of poems, even if I don't know the language--usually you can get a whiff of the original, at least.
I love typos! When I read "whelped" I thought it was far better than what I knew you meant to type ("helped").

Barrett: In fact, I thought of you when I read this Horace ode this weekend, and that's one reason I partnered it with this photo---all is connected.

ddip said...

Oooh, they look like rose petals, the ones that fall to the ground as the flower starts to fade. The gardening manuals always say to pick them up to avoid rose "litter," but I always leave them because they're so beautiful.

bink said...

My peonies are mostly only just beginning to open. I don't know when they were planted. We've been in this house less than 8 of it's 101 years. I was just wondering yesterday how long my peonies would last--not the blooms, but the actual plants--not knowing anything about their age expectation/life cycle/planting date/etc. I was very pleased to see an article in the paper today that talked about an old house/garden being restored that had 300 peonies bushes...including some types that modern experts can't name them. It seems they have records of these peonies being bought from the farmers' market and planted in 1915. I really like to think that my peonies will most likely continue to grow here at this house, long after I'm gone.

fresca said...

D: "Litter"? Hmmph. I don't think so either.

Bink: I am amazed that peony plants can live so long--how enduring beauty can be, sometimes.

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