Ode to Latin

O tongue of the ancients’ fire,

You live in God’s Church alone.

Romance languages you have sired,

But you are buried under stone!

In my heart you will live forever on,

But what about my fellow brothers?

In mine you’re praised and growing strong,

But how is it in others?

Christ will give you back your strength,

So you may open the locked door.

For to God this glory will have no length,

Though many say Latin’s future is no more.

I pray that you shall live through me,

So you may flourish like a tree!

Natalie Gorna

8 thoughts on “Ode to Latin

  1. te lui (@teluiomte) October 14, 2011 / 00:07

    Cool poem! – but I think that Latin (and Greek) is alive and kicking – not only has it given birth to Romance languages but there’s heaps and tons of Latin/Greek loanwords in other modern European languages – thus it’s easy to learn a new language as it’s guaranteed that lots of the vocabulary is common – perhaps with slightly different spelling/pronunciation.

    Not sure why you invoke Christ? Some Jewish guy who probably spoke Aramaic/Hebrew only and hated Roman Empire’s guts is not someone I’d ask for help latinwise – Let us pray to Mercury (Hermes) instead 😛

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    • Natalie Gorna October 14, 2011 / 09:42

      First, thanks for commenting. 🙂 Second, I have to disagree. Few people actually study Latin and Greek, especially not the modern generation of teenagers alive today. It is true you can see Latin and Greek alive in the Romance languages, English included, but that doesn’t mean the speakers of these languages are aware of their roots. What I meant in my poem is that technically, Latin and Ancient Greek are not practiced or remembered as languages per se. Third, I invoked Christ because at the time this poem was written, I was Catholic. Nevertheless, I will always admit that I admire the teachings of Jesus Christ for being moral, completely decent, and considerably philosophical. Besides, why would I invoke the name of some pagan god? I am deeply intrigued by Greek mythology and know enough about it to fill a 300-page book, but that doesn’t mean I believe in paganism. 😀 Again, thanks for stopping by and giving my poem a chance.

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      • te lui (@teluiomte) October 16, 2011 / 04:01

        True 🙂 – both languages are not very common as English got to be the lingua franca nowadays but they’re still far from extinction – they’re a must for middle-ages, ancient history scholars and lots of not only universities but sometimes also secondary schools have them on their curriculum (Latin especially). As to Jesus and pals – sure thing – as long as I’m not forced to believe he’s god and that I should “accept him as my personal saviour” he gets my thumbs up 🙂

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        • Natalie Gorna October 17, 2011 / 09:19

          lol Latin & Greek may be on the curriculum of some high schools – I was in one that had Latin for the first 2 years of high school – but that doesn’t mean that the students appreciate what they are studying. Until Latin and Greek regain a proper pedestal of appreciation in the modern world, studying the Classics will be restricted to scholars willing to be stuck inside dusty libraries and historical museums. 😛 As for Christ…it’s like when reading Plato’s Dialogues. Much to be admired, much to be speculated…all in moderation. 😉 And for the record…I do not believe the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, nor do I think that Christ and God are one and the same. So there. 🙂

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          • te lui (@teluiomte) October 18, 2011 / 00:17

            2 years of Latin – terrific! – I was stupid enough to go to some technically oriented high school where no Latin was taught – had I learned Latin then, it would had given me such a headstart on all the Romance languages..

            As to the students who don’t enjoy learning it – I bet most of these students DO enjoy watching reality-tv shows, so there – ignoramus et ignorabimus – I couldn’t be bothered considering their opinions 🙂

            Appreciation – I’m afraid it’s not gonna happen due to complicated grammar (declensions and the whole shebang) and lack of muscle behind it (critical mass of people speaking it + economic strenght and alive/attractive culture of people speaking it) but I don’t see anything wrong with dusty libraries. However I’ve heard that within EU Sweden proposed once to use Latin as an official EU language. Their argument was that “it will put us and the British in equal disadvantage” – loved their logic :))

            Christianity – as I’m Polish I was (of course) brought up to be a Roman Catholic. In my teens, seeing the sheer hypocrisy of it I switched to Zen Buddhism but after a couple of years I realized that despite different dogma these two were essentialy the same, which lead me to next and hopefully last logical step – Atheism – and it feels great ever since – such a load off my head :))

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          • Natalie Gorna October 18, 2011 / 09:12

            lol No, no, no. I’ve been studying Latin and some other foreign langauges since the 4th grade…I was homeschooled from then on until the 9th grade, when I entered a public charter school which happened to have Latin in its curriculum for 2 years, then I dropped out before 10th grade and went back to homeschooling, where I studied Latin (and some more foreign langauges) for the rest of my high school. 🙂 True, you can learn languages the easiest before you turn 12…scientifically, before children reach that age they are most capable of absorbing, remembering, and distinguishing different languages. I read in a scientific treatise once that children can learn up to 8 languages at once before they turn 12…it’s fascinating, the scope of the human mind and what heights it can reach. 🙂 And no, there is nothing wrong with dusty libraries…they just are a picture of loneliness, considering how many people would want to enter such places. As for Christianity, I have to quote “Jane Eyre” and say that I’m finding my own faith… 😉

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  2. doysl October 13, 2011 / 19:31

    Cool 🙂
    Is that true you’ve removed your account on the interpals.net? At least you still have this blog where I can comment 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie Gorna October 14, 2011 / 09:44

      Yes, it’s true, Slava. By the way, I think I gave you my email address in the last message I sent you on Interpals… 😉 So you can certainly email me or, of course, comment on my blog whenever you like. Thanks for reading my poem, by the way! 🙂

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