that they became immensely funnynand perfectly unusable for later poets.nNow at the end of his life Ovid camenfull circle and showed that great poetryncould indeed be built on the rag-andbonenshop of personal experience andnemotion.nSlavitt’s renderings are related tonOvid’s exile poetry as Shakespeare’snVenus and Adonis relates to the Metamorphoses.nThey are an attempt tonsolve Ovid’s problem as he would havensolved it were he writing contemporarynEnglish. To put the question as Slavittnput it to Vergil’s Eclogues: “If you werenever a living, breathing poem, whatncould you conceivably have beennabout?” One by one the poems thatnOvid penned so long ago on the shoresnof the Black Sea give an answer to thatnno doubt impudent question.nIt is an American answer. Ovid callsnhis volume liber. Slavitt calls itn”booko” and “little bookaroo.” In onenpoem, a kind of elegiac Alcestis, Ovidnimagines what his wife felt like as shenresigns herself to staying behind innRome to try to win her husband’snreprieve. Slavitt turns the spotlightnfrom Alcestis to Admetus and lets usnhear Ovid’s feelings as he walked awaynfrom his home and his family.nA man can lose his life inndifferent ways:nit bleeds out or flies away in thatnlast gasp.nBut to walk away from anlife . . . I’ve no ideanwhether it’s harder or not, but Incannot suppose the deadndesire still to die, that thensuiFering stop.nI never had anything like itnhappen—so that survivalnwas something to be ashamednof Only a brutencould have kept on walking andnliving past that corner.nWhatever worth there was innme died there.nTo catch the mood, Slavitt feels nonneed to stick to the words. So Vergiliutnnvidi tantum becomesnI saw Vergil once at anpartynbut didn’t have the nerve tongo up to speaknto the great man.nThe grand rhetoric in praise of poetrynthat ends the Fourth Book of Tristianbecomes in Slavitt’s hands a piece ofnpersonal reminiscence, but the graciousnnod to the reader remains.nSome days, I lay downnmy pen, stretch,nand go outside to trampnalong the beach,nlean into the cold salt wind, andnfeel the earthnsolid under my feet, and Inlaugh, thinkingnhow it may not get me all. Thenbest could survive for years:nthis profitless pursuit mynfather, who gave menlife, disapproved of greets younnow, reader, with thanksnfor your attention by which Inremain alive.nIt is hard to believe that many classicistsnwill use this version in their coursesnon Latin literature in translation. Ovid’sntone is here, his love of language, andnthe lively interaction of rhetoric andnemotion. The imagery and the contentnare often different, and they form thenbasis of our lectures. This translation isnfor other poets. It shows them that anpoet’s life can be a vital part of a creativenpersona and that the poetry of otherntimes and other languages can still informngreat English verse, as it has for sonmany centuries. It gives us all a part ofnOvid we had lost. As Slavitt wrote aboutnVergil’s first Eclogue: “Dead, the Latinndead, his groan is still alive.”nE. Christian Kopff teaches Ovid atnthe University of Colorado in Boulder.nHell Is OthernPeoplenby Florence KingnThe Loony Bin Tripnby Kate MillettnNew York: Simon and Schuster;n352 pp., $19.95nRemember Kate Millett? She madenthe cover of Time in 1970 afternher dissection of literary machismo.nSexual Politics, became a blockbusternbest-seller and won her the title ofnleading feminist spokesperson.nIt didn’t last. Although she wasnnnmarried, she soon announced that shenwas a lesbian, which split the women’snmovement and destroyed her superstarnstatus. Thereafter came two ramblingnautobiographical books, and a series ofnliberal causes that finally got her expellednfrom Iran for trying to stir upnthe Ayatollah’s docile female population.nDuring this time she also sufferednfrom manic depression and was committedntwice by family members. Shenemerged from the hospital dependentnon the drug Lithium to balance hernmoods, only to make the ironic discoverynthat balanced moods are inimical toncreativity. Lithium slows the thoughtnprocess and represses brain activity,nwhich interfered with her writing,nwhile its side effect of hand tremorsninterfered with her sculpting and painting.nIn the eariy 80’s, Millett decided tongo off Lithium and take her chances.nThis harrowing, often unbearable booknis the story of what happened to hernwhen she tried to buck a system and annera that have declared war on selfreliance.nTrying to go cold turkey while runningnan artists’ colony and feministncommune on her upstate New Yorknfarm, she was thwarted at every turn bynthe bevy of do-your-own thing blithenspirits with whom she had surroundednherself. With the studied casualness ofnthe sane confronting the mad, theynkept asking her “Are you all right?”nand “How do you feel?” until she wasnready to scream.nBOOKS ON CASSETTESn’•§ Unabridged Recordingsn•^ Purchase & 30 Day Rentalsn•*§ Columnist George Will has stated, “I gonthrough a book a week usingntime otherwise wasted inntaxis, shaving or walking.n<«^ We specialize in Biography,nHistory, Politics,nEconomics, Philosphy,nReligion, Social Issues, andnTimeless Literature.nCLASSICS ON TAPEnP.O. Box 969, Ashland, OR 97520n*•§ For Free Catalog, CallnjniiQIfiRIBSn-mTVCSElfUCHICn• CAHEttSED’rflHWIE’BInoiAJucma umrasT^coniinGO [0H3( mm duuEERacR £enlOtI PUmfflCTHAM WnMHBSnTHEBocmmSHOTWurnpinAS UTEBATUREBUT LrmixnniEnnavKwamxKn-tlim P JlirquadnIIIn’ WTTH A NEW PROKE BY RXOrr WNUn1 (800) 729-2665nJUNE 1990/43n