Volusius’ histories, such awful shite,
I’ll burn them and fulfil my Lesbia’s vow
to Cupid and to Venus, that since now
our quarrel’s over, poems I wrote in spite

against her should be burned. Here’s what she said
‘The worst poets’ finest verses to the flames
of lame old Vulcan’. She invoked your names
and laughed. Sweet malice gets into her head

sometimes. So here’s the deal, you shining pair,
you who rose from the foam, and you, blind boy
whose arrows hurt us – please may I employ
a stratagem? I think that this is fair –

I’ll burn instead of my works full of wit,
Volusius’ stuff – which is authentic shit.

About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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6 Responses to CATULLUS 36

  1. crowleycrow says:

    Absolutely perfect. All the richness, in such mild but tight restraint — anyway you make it seem mild.

  2. crowleycrow says:

    Though now (my first shock of delight passed) is it fair to pronounce “shit” two different ways in the same poem?

  3. cmcmck says:

    Just back from Verona via (you guessed it) Valerio Catullo Airport :o)

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