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This poem is taken from PN Review 149, Volume 29 Number 3, January - February 2003.

The Art of Love (translated by Len Krisak) Ovid


Let anyone who lacks the art of love read on,
        And having read, his ignorance is gone!
It's art that makes a ship respond to sail and oar,
        And art that drives a team or guides Amor.
Automedon controlled his reins with expert grip
        Like Tiphys, helming that Haemonian ship.
Now Venus says that I shall rule her tender son;
        I'll be Love's Tiphys and Automedon.
And though he's wild, and prone to fighting me in school,
        He's still a little boy that I can rule
(The way that Chiron broke Achilles on a lyre,
        By banking down that cherub's feral fire).
They say that he whom enemies and friends both feared,
        Cowered before a Centaur's hoary beard,
And hands that Hector felt were once held out to feel
        A master's lashing into welt and weal.
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