Archilochus: the Hedgehog

Yesterday I was introduced to one of the most fantastic little poems by one of the smartest people I know. It comes from the ancient Greek lyric poet-soldier Archilochus:

The fox knows many tricks;
The hedgehog only one.
A good one.

This was the translation he gave me. If I could find the original Greek I could tell you how good it is– I don’t really trust the internet’s popular translation. Sadly, I can’t find the Greek online, and I have too much else on my plate to go searching after the original Greek…perhaps later, many moons from now.

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3 Comments to “Archilochus: the Hedgehog”

  1. The Greek: πόλλ᾽ οἶδ᾽ ἀλώπηξ, ἀλλ᾽ ἐχῖνος ἕν μέγα.

    All of Archilochus’ extant poetry can be found at the “Bibloteca Augustana”:
    http://www.hs-augsburg.de/~harsch/graeca/Chronologia/S_ante07/Archilochos/arc_intr.html

    You might also be interested to read my own selection of, and thoughts on Archilochus’ poetry:

    http://rainscape.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/archilochus-city-in-speech-or-once-you-die-you-get-the-worst-of-everything/

  2. By the way, the Pasternak poem you quote is beautiful! and seems to illustrate how the hap-hazard of the heart needs something so formal and deliberate as poetry through which to find a voice. All the best to you, Diluvian!

  3. good to find

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