Ovid’s Love Poems

Ovid (43 BC–17), translated by Kline, A. S. (contact-email)

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The erotic elegies by Ovid are contained in three works: The Amores, Ars Amatoria, and Remedia Amoris. His earliest poetic endeavour, Amores, originally five books of love elegies mainly addressing his lover Corinna, was subsequently abridged to three books. Composed in 16 BCE, this collection uses humour and parody to affirm the elegiac form’s significance on par with epic poetry. Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love), published in 2 CE, is a witty and contentious manual on love, presented in elegiac verse, which is speculated to have played a part in Ovid’s banishment by Emperor Augustus. It provides a vivid glimpse into Roman society of the Augustan age and exemplifies Ovid’s lyrical flair. The companion piece, Remedia Amoris (The Cures for Love), which ostensibly offers advice on circumventing romantic woes and ending relationships, in fact, its elegiac delivery often seems to extol love rather than advising against it.

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Kline, A. S.

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