Killing her softly

Danish. In a review of Ole Meyer’s translation (heavily indebted to this article by Colin Burrow), I discuss the Latin poet Propertius, who deployed a masterful command of poetic shiftiness to engineer a political scandal, rejecting the Augustan celebration of soldiery and pious marriages in favor of extramarital affairs. “Making love not war” has since ceased to be provocative, but Propertius remains as irksome as he was in antiquity, as his romances are full of spite, spittle, and misogynist violence. Propertius is not a poet for the times, but then again, he never was.

“Bittert bløddyr” (“Spiteful softy”), Weekendavisen (6 September 2021). Link.