“My soul would sing of metamorphoses”

The translation of Ovid’s opening words in my last post was by Rolfe Humphries in 1955. I also like Mandelbaum’s from 1993. As is often the case – especially with the poet Rilke – I often weave together different translations into my favourite version. I particularly like the ‘breathe your breathe’ bit. And his opening words? Excellent. In this case, M’s version is far superior, so I won’t be doing any weaving!

My soul would sing of metamorphoses. But since, o gods, you were the source of these bodies becoming other bodies, breathe your breath into my book of changes: may the song I sing be seamless as its way weaves from the world’s beginning to our day.

Daphne by Arthur Rackham
Goddess metamorphoses ... sing and sing, breathe and breathe ... continue to animate and transform my script, my Screenplay PLUS.

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