N°. 029


Hands raised in surrender.
Do what you like with me.

— Ovid


Definition: /Noun/ & /Verb/

Origin Anglo-Norman, Old French surrendre, from sur, meaning super + render, meaning give back.

 the giving up of something into the possession or power of another who has or asserts a claim to it.

2) the giving up of an estate to a person who has it in reversion, so as to merge it into a larger estate.

3) the giving up of letters patent granting an estate or office; the abandonment of an insurance.

4) give up (something) into the possession or power of another who has or asserts a claim to it; yield on demand or compulsion to another person, specifically give up to an enemy.  Also more widely, resign, abandon, relinquish possession of.

5) give oneself up into the power of another, especially as a prisoner; submit to, or to an enemy.

6) give oneself up to some influence, course of action, etc.; abandon oneself entirely.

Extra Elements of Interest ::

This from Ovid’s Amores, The Loves, first published in 16 B.C.E. in five books.

The fuller context is ::

What’s wrong with me nowadays, how explain why my mattress
     Feels so hard, and the bedclothes will never stay in place?
Why am I kept awake all night by insomnia, thrashing around till
     Every weary bone in my body aches?
If Love were my assailant, surely I’d know it – unless he’s
     Craftily gone under cover, slipped past my guard?
Yes, that must be it: heart skewered/ by shafts of desire, the raging
     Beast, passion, out at prowl in my breast.
Shall I give in? To resist might just bank up the furnace –
     All right, I give in. Oh well-squared load lies light.
Flourish a torch, it burns fiercer. I know, I’ve seen it. Stop the
     Motion, and poof! it’s out.
Yoke-shy rebellious oxen collect more blows and curses
     Than a team that’s inured to the plough.
Your restive horse earns a wolf-curb, his mouth’s all bruises;
     A harness-broken nag scarcely feels the reins.
It’s the same with Love. Play stubborn, and you get a far more thorough
     Going-over than those who admit they’re hooked.
So I am coming clean, Cupid: here I am your latest victim,
     Hands raised in surrender. Do what you like with me.

– Ovid The Erotic Poems, trans. by Peter Green. Penguin Books (1982)


Author’s Dates ::

Ovid, whose real name is Publius Ovidus Naso, was born in 43 B.C.E. in Italy and died in what is now Romania in 18 C.E. in Italy.

Background ::

Here is an overview and analysis of the many poems included in Amores.  And historical and literary context on the work from Dickinson College can be read here.

Here is the Encyclopedia Brittanica on Ovid.

Academy of American Poets on Ovid.


If you have never seen Mary Zimmerman’s play based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, here is a teaser from when the Arena Stage here in DC produced Metamorphoses.  The play is marvelous and the action takes play around a pool of water.  A truly magical theatre experience! ::


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