texts. “I like poetr)’ that brings out in me as reader the maximumrnawareness of as mueh as the mind can comprehend,”rnexplains Russell, who firmly believes that “a hidden vein ofrnintellectuality (genuine) needs to be present even in a comparativelyrnsimple lyric.”rnGiven his intense interest in music, and natural affinity forrnthe musical, it is not surprising that lyric poetry is Russell’srnstrength. Russell once wrote that “The finished result of a goodrnpoem should be, phrase by phrase, at lead as compelling asrnmusic”; and indeed, at its best his poetry is filled with versesrnthat are richly melodic, verses that create, and arc accompanied,rnby their own music. Such Krieism is manifest in Russell’srnwork regardless of the mood coneyed, be it gra’ely portentous:rnOne more tomorrow all our deaths will bernAnnihilated where that fatal treernSpreads in the sun. Blossoms will fallrnFor the last time on the desolate city.rnWhere the Spring rejoicings are left by allrnAs superfluous where the mushroom ballrnBreaks the air—uncanny silence bernWhere once blackbird and songthrush were.rn—from “The Fear of War”rnor playful and romantic:rnI low can one bear to be alive?rnFive hundred thousand things to do!rnsolitary dreamer in a honey-hive.rnI dream of you . . .rnThe problem is, of course,—to be,rnIn a dead world of waxen cells.rnNot that there’s monotonyrnEs’cn in insect hells.rn—from “Theorem”rnEven his scathing epigrams have a sonorous quality aboutrnthem. Take, for example, “Creeping Professors,” one of Russell’srnman- jabs at academia:rnMan and the creeping beasts may seenr di’erse—rnThe reptiles are not really very bright;rnProfessors seem intelligent, all right—rnUntil they talk of poetry,—or verse.rnThe creeping beasts are higher in the scalernOf shining Justice when our faults are weighed:rnOur Faculties a pallid cavalcade,—rnBut creeping bipeds are beyond the pale.rnOr “Avant Garde,” his caustic commentary on popular artisticrntrends:rnThe avant garde keeps moving crab-like forwardrnHard on the tail of commerce, films and ads;rnIt’s creeping slowly 1934-wardrnOn Disney’s lizard-tail, and other ‘thirties fads. . .rnLike a true linguist, Russell’s preternatural sensitivity to thernmusicality of language is far from restricted to his nativerntongue, as is exhibited through his poetic translations. A competentrnspeaker of a dozen different languages, Russell has translatedrnworks in everything from modern Russian (Russell wasrnan early translator of Osi]5 Mandelstam and Alexander Blok)rnto ancient Persian and Greek, from German, Spanish, French,rnand Italian to African and Slavonic dialects. As noted bv thernEnglish poet and critic Kathleen Raine, Russell—much in thernstyle of his mentor Ezra Pound—considers words “a livingrnmedium,” and he possesses a remarkable gift for oercomingrnthe language limitations inherent in translation to capture skillfullyrnthe essence of a particular culture or period, howeverrnremote from our view.rnOne sees this most cleady in Russell’s translations of the 4theenturyrnLatin poet, Cittinus Aurelianus Quintilius, who, inrnrecognition of the madness that beset him near the end of hisrnlife, was dubbed “Stultus” (“a fool”) by late antiquity. Thernbulk of poems now available to us were discovered accidentallyrnb} a Niearaguan engineer who, while digging for potash nearrnthe site of the ancient Aphrodisiapolis, stumbled upon a massivernpapyrus containing dozens of the ancient poet’s elegies, asrnwell as fragments of other works.rnAs sole translator of the poetry of Quintilius, Russell, whornfeels a certain kinship with this outspoken and somewhat ostracizedrnRoman clegist, has put much labor and love into this endeavor;rnit is, in fact, his most comprehensive translation projectrnto date, complete with detailed exegetical notes that offer thernreader further insight into the sociocultural setting out of whichrnQuintilius and his work emerged. Witnessing the operaticrnspectacle of an empire in decline, Quintilius became a sort ofrnsclf-proelaimcd prophet-commentator of the times, his poctrrna medium for both apocah ptic vision and political satire:rnThe Lyceum’s become trulv a Wolf Fold, a shut shop tornscring.rnThe Academy closed b- idolatrous bigots, I see itrncoming.. .rnBurn down the libraries, make off with the gold!rnAh well, I mav be wrong, and Rome, as Claudian says,rnWill last for ever, but seeing these fruits in ourrnLJniversitiesrnServing the barbarians’ ends, personally I considerrniJs doomed …rn… Rome’s a bordello.rnAn Emperor’s sister who’s having it off with her stewardrnIs conspiring to topple Augustus her brother.rnAnd found out, has sent for aid to the Huns.rnTake it or leave it. The Angel has spoken.rnLike Russell, Quintilius has many sides which suffuse his poetry.rnAt one moment he can be offensive and off-color, quick inrnhis condemnations of half-baked egalitarians, bureaucrats, upstartrntheologians, and weak-minded militarists; at another, hisrnsentiments take on the tone of a Keatsian nature ode:rnMe indeed, above all, may the sweet Muses welcomernwith gifts,rn(Whose sacred emblems driven bv absorbing love Irnbear);rnTo me, their servant, mav they show the ways of Heavenrnand the stars.rnSun’s daily setting, and the Moon’s diverse phases;rn26/CHRONICLESrnrnrn