Monday, January 25, 2010

Cucurbita et Pinus: In momentaneam felicitatem (Alciato)

SOURCE: The emblems of Alciato, with a convenient bilingual presentation online at Memorial University, and a marvelous collection of illustrated editions at Glasgow. This is emblem 125 in the collection. Although there is not a fable about the gourd and the pine tree in Aesop's fables, compare a debate between the olive and the fig tree in Perry 413.

READ OUT LOUD. Choose which marked text you prefer to practice with - macrons in verse form, or macrons in prose order, or accent marks in prose order, or focusing on the meter. You will find materials for all of these options below. :-)

VERSE MACRONS. Here is the verse text with macrons:

Āëriam propter crēvisse cucurbita pīnum
Dīcitur, et grandī luxuriasse comā:
Cum rāmōs complexa, ipsumque ēgressa cacūmen.
Sē praestāre aliīs crēdidit arboribus.
Cuī pīnus, Nimium brevis est haec glōria: nam tē
Prōtinus adveniet, quae male perdet, hiems.

PROSE MACRONS. Here is the same text with macrons written out in prose word order:

Cucurbita dīcitur crēvisse propter pīnum āëriam , et comā grandī luxuriasse: cum rāmōs complexa et cacūmen ipsum ēgressa, crēdidit sē praestāre aliīs arboribus. Cuī pīnus: Nimium brevis haec glōria est, nam prōtinus adveniet hiems, quae tē male perdet.

STRESS (ACCENT) MARKS. Here is the prose text with accents, plus some color-coding for the words of three or more syllables (blue: penultimate stress; red: antepenultimate stress):

Cucúrbita dícitur crevísse propter pinum aëriam , et coma grandi luxuriásse: cum ramos compléxa et cacúmen ipsum egréssa, crédidit se praestáre áliis arbóribus. Cui pinus: Nímium brevis haec glória est, nam prótinus advéniet hiems, quae te male perdet.

ELEGIAC COUPLET METER. Below I have used an interpunct dot · to indicate the metrical elements in each line, and a double line || to indicate the hemistichs of the pentameter line.

Āëri·am prop·ter crē·visse cu·curbita· pīnum
Dīcitur,· et gran·dī || luxuri·asse co·mā:
Cum rā·mōs com·plex~, ip·sumqu~ ē·gressa ca·cūmen.
Sē prae·stār~ ali·īs || crēdidit· arbori·bus.
Cuī pī·nus, Nimi·um brevis· est haec· glōria:· nam tē
Prōtinus· adveni·et, || quae male· perdet, hi·ems.

IMAGE. Here's an illustration for the fable (image source) from a 1534 edition of the emblems:

What follows is an unmarked version of the prose rendering to faciliate word searches: Cucurbita dicitur crevisse propter pinum aëriam , et coma grandi luxuriasse: cum ramos complexa et cacumen ipsum egressa, credidit se praestare aliis arboribus. Cui pinus: Nimium brevis haec gloria est, nam protinus adveniet hiems, quae te male perdet.

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