Saturday, May 9, 2015

@ Games & Playing @ Literature #5 :: Ovid on Tic tac toe :: ludendo saepe paratur amor


„Parva monere pudet, talorum dicere iactus
Ut sciat, et vires, tessera missa, tuas:
Et modo tres iactet numeros, modo cogitet, apte
Quam subeat partem callida, quamque vocet.
Cautaque non stulte latronum proelia ludat,
Unus cum gemino calculus hoste perit,
Bellatorque sua prensus sine compare bellat,
Aemulus et coeptum saepe recurrit iter. 360
Reticuloque pilae leves fundantur aperto,
Nec, nisi quam tolles, ulla movenda pila est.
Est genus, in totidem tenui ratione redactum
Scriptula, quot menses lubricus annus habet:
Parva tabella capit ternos utrimque
lapillos, 365
In qua vicisse est continuasse suos.
Mille facesse iocos; turpe est nescire puellam
Ludere: ludendo saepe paratur amor.
Sed minimus labor est sapienter iactibus uti:
Maius opus mores composuisse suos.

Ovid: The Art of Love
(Ars Amatoria)
Book III

„A few things shameful to mention, she must know how to call
the throws at knucklebones, and your values, you rolled dice:
sometimes throwing three, sometimes thinking, closely,
how to advance craftily, how to challenge.
She should play the chess match warily not rashly,
where one piece can be lost to two opponents,
and a warrior wars without his companion who’s been taken,
and a rival often has to retrace the journey he began.
Light spills should be poured from the open bag,
nor should a spill be disturbed unless she can raise it.
There’s a kind of game, the board squared-off by as many lines,
with precise calculation, as the fleeting year has months:
a smaller board presents three stones each on either side
where the winner will have made his line up together.
There’s a thousand games to be had: it’s shameful for a girl
not to know how to play: playing often brings on love.
But there’s not much labour in knowing all the moves:

there’s much more work in keeping to your rules.“

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