Seuss classic now translated into Latin verse

Monday, September 29, 2003

NEW YORK -- "Green Eggs and Ham" is an easy read. The late Theodore Geisel, known as Dr. Seuss, wrote it after his editor challenged him to do a book in just 50 words.

But have you tried to read it in Latin?

Retitled "Virent Ova! Viret Perna!!" the Seuss classic has been rendered into Latin by Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers of Wauconda, Ill. The target audience is "people who took Latin in school and have fond remembrance of it, teachers and students who take Latin -- and, of course, Seuss fans," said Kelly Hughes, a spokeswoman for the publisher.

Translators Terence and Jennifer Tunberg did not aim for a literal interpretation of the tale, in which the character named Sam-I-Am tries to get a friend to try green eggs and ham in a box, with a fox, in the rain, on a train, etc. Instead, they went for a Seusslike rhythm.

In English, you get, "I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-Am."

In Latin, you get, "Sum 'Pincerna' nominatus, Famulari ... nunc paratus!"

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