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Catullus: The Complete Poems

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,762 Ratings  ·  151 Reviews
"Catullus, who lived during some of the most interesting and tumultuous years of the late Roman Republic, spent his short but intense life (?84-54 B.C.E) in high Roman society, rubbing shoulders with various cultural and political luminaries including Cesar, Cicero, and Pompey, Catullus's poetry is by turns ribald, lyric, romantic, satirical; sometimes obscene and always i ...more
Paperback, 195 pages
Published August 1st 1991 by Oxford Univ Press (first published -60)
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Sep 10, 2015 Jibran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, eros, roman
Your Saturnalian bonne-bouche

I'm bubbling with a lot of writing, at least a dozen reviews are raring to spill forth; it would be a shame to let this heat slide off into a deadened feeling you get when you remember a book read long ago but retain nothing of it, because you had not taken the care to record your impressions. Over the years I have discovered that the best way to remember a book is to write about it. This doesn't always materialise though. Life, you see.

I read this Penguin ed

1st century BCE portrait from Pompeii

Odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris?
nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.

In the mid-1st century BCE the Roman Republic was stumbling to a close, torn by the struggles between factions of the Roman aristocracy trying to hold onto its wealth and influence, the rising merchants and bankers - some of whom were obscenely wealthy and holding the financial lifeline of many aristocrats - and the uncountable plebians driven off their farms by the aristoc

L'abandon d'Ariane

Le temps où je remettais à plus tard l'exploration de la poésie latine est révolu. J'ai une préférence pour le grec, mais cet ouvrage (l'émancipation féminine Dans La Rome Antique) a piqué ma curiosité quant aux mœurs romaines de la fin de la République et du début de l'Empire: en route pour l'Italie! Catulle est un Romain du 1er siècle avant notre ère, contemporain de la fin de la République. On trouve ici plus d'une centaine de poèmes plus ou moins longs, et dont les vers son
Jan 09, 2014 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Peter Green's exuberantly bitchy translation of the complete poems of the Roman poet Catallus never fails to amuse, amaze, and indeed shock, which was certainly the poet's original intent. With far too many earlier translations of these viscerally human poems, translators have tried to protect us from the full onslaught of both Catallus' subject and language. Not here. For once, we feel an uncensored direct connection to a person who lived more than 2000 years ago. We see how he's just like us, ...more
Evan Leach
”In bed I read Catullus. It passes my comprehension why Tennyson could have called him ‘tender.’ He is vindictive, venomous, and full of obscene malice. He is only tender about his brother and Lesbia, and in the end she gets it hot as well.”

- Harold Nicolson, Diaries and Letters 1945-1962.

Catullus was a Roman poet that lived through some of the most tumultuous days of the Roman Republic, from about 84-54 b.c. He spent his short life socializing in the best of circles, and his poetry contains ja
Oct 01, 2012 Ginny_1807 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Miser Catulle, desinas ineptire,
et quod vides perisse perditum ducas.
Fulsere quondam candidi tibi soles,
cum ventitabas quo puella ducebat
amata nobis quantum amabitur nulla.
Ibi illa multa tum iocosa fiebant,
quae tu volebas nec puella nolebat.
Fulsere vere candidi tibi soles.
Nunc iam illa non vult: tu quoque impotens noli,
nec quae fugit sectare, nec miser vive,
sed obstinata mente perfer, obdura.
Vale puella, iam Catullus obdurat,
nec te requiret nec rogabit invitam.
At tu dolebis, cum rog
Aug 19, 2015 Niklas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vulgar, obscene, offensive, yet often hilarious, sometimes beautiful and incredibly moving. Catullus poems are powerful and always packed with emotion. Many modern readers will probably find him very relatable as well. He rages against his ex-lover Lesbia and calls her a whore in several poems (and not in a roundabout way either) yet is still obviously madly in love with her. He both praises and insults his friends and fellow poets, and often accuses them of questionable sexual practices. My fav ...more
Vladana Perlić

Život, Lezbijo, ljubav neka bude,
za nas staraca strogih zlobni šapat
niti prebite pare ne vrijedi!
Sunce zalazi pa se opet rađa;
a kratkotrajnu našeg dana svjetlost
vječna smjenjuje noć i san bez jave.
Daj mi tisuću poljubaca, još sto,
drugu tisuću, zatim daj mi još sto,
opet tisuću novu, zatim još sto,
a kad tisuće mnoge prebrojimo,
tad ih pomiješamo kako sami
znali ne bismo - niti zavist čija
zla - koliko smo poljubaca dali.


Vas ću nabiti sprijeda i odostrag,
tebe, pederu Aurelije, tebe,
kurvo Furije, j
Sep 04, 2011 Wendell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Catullus is a great Latin poet whose verse is astonishingly contemporary in the treatment of his themes of love and betrayal. Most of his poems are brief, less than 20 lines, and about a third of these are about his love affair with Lesbia, who is probably Clodia, a married woman from one of Rome's leading families. Other poems deal with his friendships and betrayals, including some delightful insults. In addition, there are eight longer poems, including two marriage songs, a poem about Attis wh ...more
Vi MacDonald
He's not the most "poetic" of the the Classical Latin poets I've read - but he wrote with such a passion and intensity that his poems are wonderfully engaging regardless
May 17, 2016 Jimmy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry-authors
Catullus poem #101 is probably the greatest poem in Latin and one of the greatest poems ever. Here it is in Latin:

Multas per gentes et multa per æquora uectus
aduenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,
ut te postremo donarem munere mortis
et mutam nequiquam alloquerer cinerem,
quandoquidem fortuna mihi tete abstulit ipsum,
heu miser indigne frater adempte mihi.
nunc tamen interea hæc prisco quæ more parentum
tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias,
accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu,
atque in perpetuum
Feb 10, 2008 Fred rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, reviewed
no one has differentiated translators yet, this one picked at random. copley was my favorite before garrick turned me onto carl sesar's, first one to do justice to the extraordinary level of obscenity of the original
Aug 16, 2010 Jesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One does not find humorous poems about rape to be beautiful as well everyday, but such is the magic of this exquisite poet from the time of Caesar and Cicero. Catullus' subject is, invariably, the feelings of rapture or disgust associated with love and hatred; his style is at once polished and crude, surrounding the words testicle or cock with adjectives of wonder and grace. Surprisingly, the National Review occasionally prints Catullus but, then again, the right-wing is well known for sexual re ...more
Dec 16, 2009 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Catullus. THE POEMS OF CATULLUS. ****. This was an edition published by The Folio Society in 1981, ably translated by James Michie. What’s particularly nice about this edition is that it contains the Latin and the corresponding English translation on facing pages. Even though I had four years of Latin in high school and grew up with the Latin Mass, I don’t remember enough to translate this stuff anymore. You can scan the Latin, however, and get the sense of the poems and then swing your eyes ove ...more
Jan 30, 2010 max rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: latin
Catullus is one of the greatest Roman poets. Had a single manuscript of his collection not been discovered in Verona c. 1300, he would have been lost to us forever. It would be hard to point to a collection of poems that is more passionately intense, thematically wide ranging and skilfully executed than that of Catullus. It is all here: erotic love, friendship, travel, principles of poetic composition, political operators, poetasters, prostitutes, dinner invitations, socially inept wannabes, pos ...more
Mar 14, 2015 Baylee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leggendo i carmi di Catullo di ha l'impressione che la Bellezza – quella con la B maiuscola, appunto – esista. E che Catullo abbia saputo metterla nero su bianco in tutto il suo fulgore. E vi consiglio la lettura dell'edizione Einaudi, dove i carmi sono ben tradotti e il commento è utile per la comprensione dei componimenti.

La mia donna dice che non vuol stare con nessun altro,
neanche se la chiedesse Giove in persona.
Così dice, ma quello che dice una donna all'amante appassionato,
va scritto sul
Jul 24, 2009 D.A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully contemporary rendering of Catullus that captures the fire and chutzpah, the tenderness, the sheer cleverness of this quintessential lyric poet.
Catherine Woodman
This Roman Neoteric poet lived from 84-54 BCE and he knew everyone there was to know in his time. He died before Caesar was threatened by Pompey and in response crossed the Rubicon River and embroiled the Roman Republic in a Civil War, so he did not have to ultimately choose sides there, but he had a lot to say about politicians, statemen, his friends, his lovers, and life in general. He reminds me of a blogger of today--if someone caught his fancy or pissed him off, he wrote a poem naming names ...more
Martin Michalek
May 09, 2013 Martin Michalek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Last summer (2012) I began learning Latin with Catullus, which is both a good idea and a bad idea. It's a bad idea only in the sense that many of the poems were approached with a dictionary rather than a vocabulary in my head, and it is very tough to recreate reading a poem for the first time. Having said that, it such an experience doesn't eliminate "getting" a poem, and in the past year I've come to really get Catullus — not just as poetry but as a poet.

Catullus is my favourite Latin poet. He
Catullus is probably my favourite Latin poet. After years of Virgil, Ovid and Tacitus in my Latin class, Catullus was a breath of fresh air. My friends and I even recited some of his poems to each other during recess, which either means we were total geeks or that Catullus is just loads of fun. With those memories in mind, I picked up this volume of his collected works and I was not disappointed. No epic poems or myths here, but bawdy, funny and totally inappropiate poems. 80% of his work is abo ...more
Catulo en mi subjectiva opinión es el poeta más explícitamente sensible de todos y es esta parte la que influye en los poetas posteriores y la que no había aparecido en ningún poeta romano antes que él. Sin embargo, siendo como soy, a mí lo que me gusta son las obscenidades, el humor de soldado, lo callejero de Catulo (aún siendo hijo de equites):

O lutum, lupanar, aut si perditius potest quid esse.
Sed nom est tamen hoc satis putandum

Nam dextra pater inquinatiore
culo filius est voraciore

Adam  McPhee
Aug 22, 2015 Adam McPhee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Catullus 85
I hate and I love. Perhaps you ask why?
I do not know, but I feel it happen and I am torn apart.

Kind of a weird translation, compared to others I've looked at. I think you do the poet a disservice when you shy away from the most vulgar language available. And that's exactly why I read Catullus, although I was surprised to find some deeper poetry as well.

85, obviously, but others too. I found 55 and 58b to be quite touching: Catullus depicts himself searching the city for a friend he c
Mar 03, 2016 Ann-lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
Isegi õige väljaanne on olemas, ülikooli raamatukogus leidub ka igasugust kraami.
Sealhulgas vanade roomlaste armastusluulet :)
May 13, 2016 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
It seems very strange that Goodreads have combined the Peter Whigham translation of the poems of Catullus with The Poems of Catullus: A Bilingual Edition translated by Peter Green. Two very different books.

I bought Peter Green's book as I remembered translating some Catullus in Latin at school 30 years ago and wanted the bilingual edition to look back at that. However Peter Green's translations are so laden with Americanisms that they are entirely unreadable. "Catullus, keep your mind made up, h
May 12, 2016 Shelley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Totoptero Bastidas
Autor: Catulo.
Título: Poesías. – {S I a.C.} [Madrid: Alianza Editorial. 1988. 201 pp. (Incluye notas)]
Catulo es el poeta latino más famoso del grupo que Cicerón llamó los “neotéricos”. Este grupo de poetas se caracterizaba por la composición de versos más cercanos a lo subjetivo, lo íntimo y lo cotidiano. Esta “nueva poesía” propia del siglo I a.C. tomó los elementos de una poesía griega de temas cotidianos como la bucólica, la didáctica, los himnos o la poesía de tema pastoril; este tipo de
Cassandra Kay Silva
What a sensual, torrid, and beautifully composed set of work is this? I am speechless. Catullus your words are like silk. Your stories and musings on human behavior are debauchery at its best. And Ha! The poem regarding your defense of flowery rhetoric. For you are fed wine and grapes in abound and surrounded by ladies night and day. In truth who could fault you for such as this! Oh a man who knows women, and knows his way around the written word is a rare and delicious treat.
Nina (Death, Books, and Tea)
Catullus, babe. Tumultuous love affairs. Hatred. Friendship. Grief. Anger. Myth. Madness. Napkin stealing. Catullus' remaining poetry shows a wide range of emotion and situations and I love it.

As well as the Latin, I read James Michie's translation. It's gorgeous. It rhymes, it's pretty close considering he wordsmithed in order to make his translation rhyme, it doesn't shy away from the dirty bits, and it works so well.

M.L. Rio
Feb 11, 2015 M.L. Rio rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, poetry
Possibly not a great translation but I find Catullus pompous and a bit dull.
Nov 23, 2014 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
An uneven collection, and definitely not what would come to mind when I hear the term "immortal poetry", yet it certainly has it's charms. Catallus at his best approaches the sublime with Homeric lyricism worthy of the greats. At his worst his poems come accross as petty and childish. A few too many of the poems in this collection are of the latter variety for my liking, but I suppose since Catallus is still being read 2000 years after his death he must have been doing something right. Unlike so ...more
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  • The Complete Odes and Epodes
  • Idylls
  • The Erotic Poems
  • The Eclogues
  • Epigrams
  • The Sixteen Satires
  • The Poems
  • Pharsalia: The Civil War
  • Sappho: A New Translation
  • The Odes of Pindar
  • Pro M. Caelio Oratio
  • The Comedies
  • The Pot of Gold and Other Plays
  • The Way Things Are: The De Rerum Natura
  • The Annals of Imperial Rome
Gaius Valerius Catullus (ca. 84 BC – ca. 54 BC) was a Roman poet of the 1st century BC. His surviving works are still read widely, and continue to influence poetry and other forms of art. Catullus invented the "angry love poem."
More about Catullus...

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“Odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris?
nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.”
“Odi et amo; quare fortasse requiris, nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.

(my translation: I hate and I love, you ask why I do this, I do not know, but I feel and I am tormented)”
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