Sunday, July 15, 2012

Piddle-paddling race of critics, rhizome-fanciers

By Antiphanes

(4th Century BCE)

Translated by Edwin Morgan

Piddle-paddling race of critics, rhizome-fanciers
digging up others' poetry, pusillanimous bookworms
coughing through brambles, aristophobes and Erinnaphils,
dusty bitter barkers from Callimachus' kennels,
poet's-bane, nightshade of the neophytes,
bacilli on singing lips: get off, get down, get lost!

This  is indeed a riotous piece. Never read such a trenchant piece blaming, banging, and bantering  critics and banishing them from the creative realm.

(Piddle-paddling-The act of doing anything other than what you should be doing or wasting timeRhizome-creeping rootstalks,  Bramble-a rough prickly shrub. Erinna-a Greek poet, contemporary of Sappho. Callimachus-a noted poet, critic and scholar at the Library of Alexandria (240 BC), Nightshade-a toxic plant)

Source: 99 Poems in Translation- Edited by Harold Pinter, Anthony Astbury and Geoffrey Godbert

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