CATULLUS 12

Asinius Marrucinus, your left hand
has sticky fingers. There is no excuse.
You weren’t drunk. It’s not funny. If you choose
to steal my table linen, you’ll be banned

from all polite society. He’s sad,
your brother Pollio – he’d gladly pay
for all your silly pranks to go away,
he’s smart and witty, unlike you. We’ve had

enough of you, So kindly send it back
Or get far ruder verses by return.
It was a present from my friends. You’ll learn
value’s not what things cost, but how their lack

hurts. It’s not cloth alone they sent from Spain,
but love with it, until we kiss again.

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About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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3 Responses to CATULLUS 12

  1. smallship1 says:

    I’m enjoying these very much (we only have the Penguin Catullus here, which doesn’t bother with rhyme or scansion).

    Is line two of verse two short by design, or did you leave out a “gladly” or something?

  2. swisstone says:

    Ha! I like the smutty innuendo in the opening lines, turned by the revelation that Asinius is stealing, not wanking. I’m not sure that subtext is in the Latin, but I like it here.

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