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“τέτλαθι δή, κραδίη: καὶ κύντερον ἄλλο ποτ᾽ ἔτλης.”
- Homer, Odyssey 20:18
“Take courage, my heart: you have been through worse than this.”
“Be strong, saith my heart; I am a soldier; I have seen worse sights than this”   (via olvmpian)
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“Be strong, saith my heart; I am a soldier; I have seen worse sights than this.”
-

Homer, The Iliad  800 B.C.E.  (via zoeshorrorstory)

So this exact phrasing is from Donna Tartt, The Secret History:

and it’s actually a very loose translation - what Odysseus says to himself, in Book 11.404-410, is:

ὤ μοι ἐγὼ τί πάθω; μέγα μὲν κακὸν αἴ κε φέβωμαι
πληθὺν ταρβήσας: τὸ δὲ ῥίγιον αἴ κεν ἁλώω
μοῦνος: τοὺς δ᾽ ἄλλους Δαναοὺς ἐφόβησε Κρονίων.
ἀλλὰ τί ἤ μοι ταῦτα φίλος διελέξατο θυμός;
οἶδα γὰρ ὅττι κακοὶ μὲν ἀποίχονται πολέμοιο,
ὃς δέ κ᾽ ἀριστεύῃσι μάχῃ ἔνι τὸν δὲ μάλα χρεὼ
ἑστάμεναι κρατερῶς, ἤ τ᾽ ἔβλητ᾽ ἤ τ᾽ ἔβαλ᾽ ἄλλον.

or, in the Samuel Butler translation:

“Alas,” said he to himself in his dismay, “what will become of me? It is ill if I turn and fly before these odds, but it will be worse if I am left alone and taken prisoner, for the son of Saturn has struck the rest of the Danaans with panic. But why talk to myself in this way? Well do I know that though cowards quit the field, a hero, whether he wound or be wounded, must stand firm and hold his own.”

You can see what Tartt is pulling out - a soldier, “ὃς δέ κ᾽ ἀριστεύῃσι” (one who is heroic/excels) must be strong and hold firm - but I’m not sure where “saith my heart” comes from as Odysseus is addressing his heart, here (that’s the literal translation for “myself”) or “I have seen worse sights than this”

(via plinytheyounger)

Huh, interesting. If I only saw the quote by itself, I would’ve thought it was from Od. 20.18

τέτλαθι δή, κραδίη: καὶ κύντερον ἄλλο ποτ᾽ ἔτλης.

Then the soldier bit wouldn’t make any sense. Aaaaand neither would the speaking heart bit. Maybe Tartt mistakenly combined both of these? Yeah… I got nothing.

(via tedgar)

Tedgar that is brilliant! Thank you so much - I had the vague feeling it reminded me of something else, but I think that Odyssey quote has to be part of it (for my non-Greek-speaking-audience - “Be firm, my heart! For you have endured even worse things than this.”)

It might be a way of using the “I address my heart” motif backwards to use the “speaking heart”? As for “I am a soldier”, I have no idea - Homeric characters don’t tend to think of themselves as “soldiers” in the sense that’s implied here. I’m still really baffled as to why Tartt would take, really, a very loosely adapted line of the Odyssey and attribute it to Book 11 of the Iliad, with the same character?

(also, I mean, it’s not “seen worse sights” but “suffered more dog-like treatment”, to be exact - it’s not about battlefield stuff by this point but about the various monsters he’s met with)

Odysseus also gives a little it’s-been-worse speech to his men at Od. 12.208-212, but that’s even further off.

(via plinytheyounger)
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lokifan:

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the black man bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the black man, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The abuse and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again
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quietpinetrees:

“She had the unmistakable look of a spacefarer, covered in tattoos of our night sky so aliens could send her home if death finally found her.”
-QuietPineTrees
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jewishdragon:

Some trans history for trans day of visibility! Here is a poem written in 1322 by a jewish trans woman! (source and alternate translation). In case you were in need of the knowledge that yes, trans people have been around for a long, long time. [this is an english translation from hebrew]

“What an awful fate for my mother
that she bore a son.
What a loss of all benefit! …
Cursed be the one who announced to my father:
“It’s a boy! …

Woe to him who has male sons.
Upon them a heavy yoke has been placed, restrictions and constraints.
Some in private, some in public,
some to avoid the mere appearance of violation,
and some entering the most secret of places.

Strong statutes and awesome commandments,
six hundred and thirteen.
Who is the man who can do all that is written,
so that he might be spared?

… Oh, but had the artisan who made me
created me instead—a fair woman.
Today I would be wise and insightful.
We would weave, my friends and I,
and in the moonlight spin our yarn,
and tell our stories to one another,
from dusk till midnight.
We’d tell of the events of our day, silly things,
matters of no consequence.
But also I would grow very wise from the spinning,
and I would say, “Happy is she who knows how to work with combed flax and weave it into fine white linen.”

And at times, in the way of women,
I would lie down on the kitchen floor,
between the ovens, turn the coals, and taste the different dishes.
On holidays I would put on my best jewelry.
I would beat on the drum
and my clapping hands would ring.

And when I was ready and the time was right,
an excellent youth would be my fortune.
He would love me, place me on a pedestal,
dress me in jewels of gold,
earrings, bracelets, necklaces.
And on the appointed day,
in the season of joy when brides are wed,
for seven days would the boy increase my delight and gladness.

Were I hungry, he would feed me well-kneaded bread.
Were I thirsty, he would quench me with light and dark wine.
He would not chastise nor harshly treat me,
and my [sexual] pleasure he would not diminish

Every Sabbath, and each new moon,
his head he would rest upon my breast.
The three husbandly duties he would fulfill,
rations, raiment, and regular intimacy.
And three wifely duties would I also fulfill,
[watching for menstrual] blood, [Sabbath candle] lights, and bread…

Father in heaven, who did miracles for our ancestors with fire and water,
You changed the fire of Chaldees so it would not burn hot,
You changed Dina in the womb of her mother to a girl,
You changed the staff to a snake before a million eyes,
You changed [Moses’] hand to [leprous] white
and the sea to dry land.
In the desert you turned rock to water,
hard flint to a fountain.

Who would then turn me from a man to woman?
Were I only to have merited this, being so graced by your goodness…

What shall I say? Why cry or be bitter?
If my Father in heaven has decreed upon me
and has maimed me with an immutable deformity,
then I do not wish to remove it.
And the sorrow of the impossible
is a human pain that nothing will cure
and for which no comfort can be found.
So, I will bear and suffer
until I die and wither in the ground.
And since I have learned from the tradition
that we bless both the good and the bitter,
I will bless in a voice, hushed and weak,
Blessed are you, O Lord,
who has not made me a woman.

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