A Taste of Boris’ Oration

I’ve been anxiously checking in on Youtube in the hopes of seeing a video of Boris’ performance of Armand D’Angour’s Olympian ode and while we still don’t have the full thing, Susannah Davis (on Twitter; naturally we direct a tip o’ the pileus to her) did point us to this glimpse from a Greek source:

cf: <a href=”https://rogueclassicism.com/page/2/”>London 2012 Olympic Ode!</a>

4 thoughts on “A Taste of Boris’ Oration

  1. Huh! He calls it a ‘Pindaric ode’ even though it’s in alcaic stanzas, a meter never used by Pindar! What’s more, it’s neither in Doric dialect (which Pindar used) or Aeolic (which Alcaeus used), but in classical Attic (with poetic diction, as in tragedy). Disgraceful!

    1. What is disgraceful? No need for phthonos to demonstrate what a cleverclogs you are. Boris himself introduced it to a bemused audience with ‘Although it claims to be Pindaric, it’s not in dactylo-epitrites but in alcaics – but we must not stand in the way of progress’. (I wonder who got the joke). Classical Attic? Tragic diction? Who speaks of athletes’ sophia, stratos, aigle, charis? wouldn’t you want astrape not asterope?

      If you want Aeolic metre and Doric dialect, you can read G.S. Robertson’s 1896 ‘Pindaric Ode’, with his (no doubt disgraceful) coinages – Galloi, Germania, Moskw etc. and dactylo-epitrites, you already have my 2004 ode to Athens. I told Boris I didn’t see the point of doing something like that again for London, and it wouldn’t have had half the international impact had I done so. Nor would the ‘sober’ English version (on the plaque) have allowed the same brio in performance.
      For your information, the original composition was indeed Aeolic in dialect and accentuation (including e.g. hapaxes such as mateo instead of pateo, bet you don’t know that one!). A modern ‘Pindaric ode’ is bound to be adulterated in some way. Abraham Cowley or Thomas Gray, or even Horace Odes 4.2: faux-Pindaric? – disgraceful!

      With Boris’s agreement I converted the Ode into Attic for public consumption, even though I lost the odd pun in doing so; psilosis is not everyone’s cup of tea (anyone for Ellas?) In due course I shall publish the story and all versions – the Road to the Ode – on my website or elsewhere.

      1. OK, fair enough. Once upon a time I could write sapphic stanzas in Latin, à la Horace, but I never managed alcaics, whether in Latin or Greek. If only you hadn’t used the word ‘Pindaric’ — then even a cleverclogs like me wouldn’t have had any ground for complaint.

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