Published on [Permalink]

By the time of his death in 1955, Sir Ronald Storrs had collected about 350 translations of the Ode to Pyrrha, including 150 to English, 54 to French, 35 to Italian, 24 to German, 14 to Spanish — and the others to some 25 different languages. By 1959, Sir Charles Tennyson had found 100 additional translations to several languages (about 30 to English), bringing the total to 451. Then, following instructions left by Storrs, he published Ad Pyrrham: A Polyglot Collection of Translations of Horace’s Ode to Pyrrha, with an introduction by Storrs and a selection of the translations. The selection aimed at covering “as wide a range as possible in country, period and style,” but Tennyson worried about monotony, and chose to include only 63 translations to English, 20 to French, 12 to Italian, 13 to German, 15 to Spanish, two to Welsh, and one to each of 19 other languages. Thinking that the whole set of English translations might not be monotonous, I decided to put together a collection of as many as I could find. Yet, after having found 417 translations, I was reminded of what W. H. Auden once wrote (paraphrasing Paul Valéry): “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.”

The collection can be found in Collections of Translations.