Sonnets from Marcus Aurelius by James Vila Blake PDF book

Download Sonnets from Marcus Aurelius by James Vila Blake ( Translated Meditations into Sonnets) PDF book

The Author, in this book, translated some Greek text of the meditations to sonnets so it can be easier to remember /the book contains Greek and the English Sonnets

When I had read the book of Marcus Aurelius many times and was reading it after a long interval once again, which was also in company and aloud, I noticed the worthy matter for poetic treatment presented by the great Emperor's noblest and most characteristic sayings. I marked such passages, and they remained for many years marked and no more. 

Then I remembered them, recurred to them, and found my former impression confirmed. Hence these heroic hymns, as perhaps I may call them, the sonnet appearing to me the poetic form most suitable and germane. Do or can the lofty thoughts herein versed, gain from the verse? The reader must judge, and possibly the fortunes of the present recital may afford some indication whether the stern and high terseness of the original can profit by the expansion, diction, and imagery of verse. Certainly in clarity, no; but in persuasiveness, possibly yes.

The question seems much like a query whether excellent drawing in ink can gain by brush and color. What is proper matter for poesy, is a question belonging to poetic technics, and there is wide space and a thousand species between a geometrical demonstration or a bit of chemical nomenclature, and the heroics of a ballad; but at first blush perhaps it may be surmised that whatever thought is big enough and humane enough, may lay all Nature under contribution, and need not disdain the warrant of poetic fancy, trope, form or diction. As to the diction, for aught that appears, the word rondure which Shakespeare liked, is as good as roundness, or sphericity, or circularity, or curve, or curvature, or concavity, or convexity, or circumbendibus, and if this be granted, poetic language scores a point perhaps, though I have known poets and others look askance at "rondure."

Author: James Vila  Blake  Publication Date:1920

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