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A poem for Valentine's Day

14 February 2018

In celebration of Valentine's Day, Genevieve Liveley, Senior Lecturer in Classics, reads her selection from Ovid's Amores.

Of her choice of poem, Genevieve Liveley said:

As Valentine’s Day is supposed to have its roots in the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia (also celebrated in mid-February), it seems appropriate to have a Latin poem to celebrate the occasion. This elegy from the Roman poet Ovid’s Amores (Love Songs) is more than 2000 years old, yet in both tone and content it feels like the work of a contemporary. There is almost a cinematic quality to Ovid’s description: the soft-focus lighting that spotlights the bed upon which Ovid rests, his lover’s dramatic entrance, the slow striptease which reveals her naked body – and then the cut away to a final shot of the couple, post coitus, relaxed on the bed. 

Dr. Genevieve Liveley is Senior Lecturer in Classics and academic lead for the Bristol Classics Hub, a project that develops the study of Latin and Greek in schools and colleges. Her research interests lie in ancient (especially Augustan) narratives and narrative theories (both ancient and modern). Her recent publications include a monograph for OUP's Classics in Theory series on Narratology and two books on Ovid: A Reader’s Guide to Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Ovid's Love Songs.

Further information

The Comemmorative Poem Initiative was established in 2017. The project is run by the Bristol Poetry Institute. 

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