Jesse's Reviews > Catullus: The Poems

Catullus by Catullus
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Aug 16, 10

Read from August 06 to 16, 2010

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 repression, and it seems these poems would be quite the release for an emotionally abused power-worshipper. Catullus was a worshipper of romance, and I would conjecture romance to be the non-religious form of a latent hatred for humanity and existence; indeed, modern cynicism darkens the edges of Catullus' glowing and talented verse. Nevertheless, there is much joy here, albeit a semi-nihilistic kind, and, for those interested in the great poet Sappho, it is generally surmised that the uncharacteristic long poems mentioning the gods are translations of Sappho into Latin - thank you Catullus, for she was the greater poet; Io Hymen Hymenaeus!
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