Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Agrorum Stercoratio

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 2:194. As often, Owen's epigram is based on a paradox of how something vile and foul is essential to produce the very food that nourishes us. Thank goodness it's not Soylent Green... just manure! :-)

Agrorum Stercoratio
Vile excrementum stercus, sed inutile non es:
Tu nutrimento das alimenta meo.

Dung’s a vile Excrement; yet hath its worth:
Its Element mine Aliment brings forth.

Here is the vocabulary:

ager - field
stercoratio - fertilizing
vilis - vile, common, cheap
excrementum - excrement
stercus - manure
sed - but
inutilis - useless
non - not, no
sum - be, exist
tu - you
nutrimentum - nourishment
do - give
alimentum - sustenance, food
meus - my, mind