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Subject:The PINN Code
Time:04:11 pm
Pindarum quisquis studet aemulari,
Iulle, ceratis ope Daedalea
nititur pinnis, uitreo daturus
     nomina ponto.
(Horace, Odes 4.2.1-4)
[All those, Iullus, who aim to rival Pindar,
are struggling on feathers waxed by the art
of Daedalus, and will give their names
     to the glassy sea. - D. West.]


As John Henderson notes per litteras, there seems to be play with names and partial acrostics: The opening PINDARUM begins to generate an acrostic (PIN, of the type most famous at Arat. Phaen. 783-7 λεπτη / ΛΕΠΤΗ), but instead creates incomplete PINN-, an iconic image of what is going on in the lines, the crash of Icarus into the sea. nititur pinnis at the start of 3 descends in the next line to nomina ponto, with nomina drawing attention to the play. In this context ope Daedalea may point to Virg. Aen. 6.28-33, where Daedalus' artwork participates in the narrative it creates (28-30 regens...resoluit) and where Icarus is denied participation in the Daedalian artwork (31 opere in tanto) as not he, but rather the hands of his father, fall, the ecphrasis ending in mid-line (33), as H.'s acrostic does in mid-word. Pindar himself does the falling, as a stream from a mountain, in the lines that follow. - Richard F. Thomas, "Odes IV and Carmen Saeculare" (Cambridge, 2011)

I'm impressed. And slightly envious - that's an idea I would have liked to have had myself.
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leopold_paula_b
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Time:2013-03-31 07:49 pm (UTC)
I so did not, but I'm glad you're impressed as well.

Thomas's commentary is full of win, to use a colloquialism that so ill fits the EFL. (And I'm surprised that I like an idea of Henderson's. I *hated* him on Epodes 8 and 12.)
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