Epode X: Kids’ Curse on Alice
(Mala solute navis)
[Under an Evil Star the Ship]
‘Maevius: Virgil attacks a poet of this name at Eclogues iii 90.
Orion: the setting of Orion in November often comes in stormy weather.
Ajax: the virgin goddess Pallas Athena championed the Greeks at Troy, but destroyed Ajax, son of Oileius, on his homeward journey, in retribution for his rape of Cassandra, the Trojan priestess of Apollo.
Randy: and therefore stinking, to make an offering appropriate to Maevius and an effective ring composition.’ (1)
This is a curse poem and many people think that in Horace 10 the butt is a rival poet.
As with the original Epode, my version is a curse poem, wherein the children put a curse on old Alice who seems all the time to want to put a stop to their progress and fun.
So, in mine, not so much a rival as in the original, but certainly Alice stops the children achieving what they want, just as a rival poet might throw another into the spotlight. Alice therefore becomes a legitimate target for a modern curse poem.
And just as Pallas Athena destroyed Ajax for his rape of Cassandra in the original, so the children take retribution on Alice for spoiling their games.
(1) West, D.(1997) Horace: The Complete Odes and Epodes. Oxford University Press: Oxford (p.137)