What Foreign Shore

What Foreign Shore

Poems Based on the Odes of Horace

Sean Patrick Taylor


An account of the 'Odes' of Horace that is more than a simple translation.

  • ISBN 9781781329344
  • Published Nov 2019
  • paperback
    216 x 140mm (102 pages)


Why has a reclusive poet from the first-century Roman countryside exerted such compelling influence over two thousand years, over poets as diverse as Jonson, Keats, and Auden? Most widely known for his crisp enjoinder carpe diem – generally translated as "seize the day”– Horace was no mere hedonist. His lyric celebration of the simple joys of life, such as erotic pursuit, friendship, and good wine, are grounded in an almost zen-like mindfulness. His Epicureanism finds its balance in a recognition of the transitory nature of the world and its suffering, and a rather cool detachment.

Taylor has given us an account of the Odes of Horace that is not a simple translation. He uses the Odes as a point of departure for a collection of poems that, while modelled on Horace’s originals, are carried over into the modern world, and take for their landscape Taylor’s own territory of Southern California and the Pacific Northwest.

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