sublime office, handiwork

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kusaltk

Member
korean
This sentence is about the ancient Greek poet Homer.
Would you please give a esay explain to understand?
especially, what are the meanings of 'sublime office' and 'handiwork'?

ancient bard who founded for the race the sublime office of the poet, and who built upon his won foundations and edifice so lofty and so firm that it still towers unapproachably above the haniwork not only of common, but even of many uncommon men.


source: Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages by Guy Deutscher
http://books.google.co.kr/books?id=...unded for the race the sublime office&f=false
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    ancient bard who founded for the race the sublime office of the poet,
    - This means that Homer was one of the first poets whose work was so great that other people began to respect poets and poetry. Literally, "sublime office" means something like "supreme position/profession".

    "The handiwork of men" - This describes the things that people accomplish during their lives. Homer's work is greater than the work that most other people accomplish in their lives.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    The given (and slightly misquoted) passage is only part of a sentence. The writer is describing Gladstone; the latter, not Deutscher, is the author of the passage in post #1. Here's the full sentence:

    While out of office, he has devoted his legendary energies to the realm of the mind, and in particular to his burning intellectual passion: the ancient bard who "founded for the race the sublime office of the poet, and who built upon his own foundations an edifice so lofty and so firm, that it still towers unapproachably above the handiwork not only of common, but even of many uncommon men."

    The writer goes on to talk about Gladstone's long admiration for Homer and the Iliad and the Odyssey. Deutscher's quote is evidently from Gladstone's writings.
     
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