Humbling Exercise

Peter Jay in the introduction to The Greek Anthology and Other Ancient Greek Epigrams gives pause — English has not always been spoken everywhere.

Translation is an art of fiction. There is the fiction of the translator, who pretends to be another poet at another time, writing in a language that men had not yet begun to speak. And there is the fiction demanded of the reader, who must believe that the poem he is reading is at the same time an ancient poem and a modern one. When translation is successful, the translator and the reader conspire to have their cake and eat it.
I like this image of the inexhaustible consumption of goods. There is an almost Alice in Wonderland aspect — never knowing if one's self will grow large with an expanded view (eat me) or one's self will diminish in a tide of temporal relocations (drink me) like the reading a language that men have not yet begun to speak.

And so for day 299