My second thoughs on Catullus 3

Howl! Little boys with bows!. You sweethearts! cry!
Weep! All of you that walk in Venus’ train!
The pretty, dingy sparrow has been slain
Lesbia loved. She’d rather lose an eye

she sometimes said. Chirrup pipip its song
close in her ear, in language she alone
could understand. Just as a mother’s known
to some young girl, the sweet bird flew along

with her, sat in her lap. Without a breath
it flutters darkling never to come back
Hell takes all things. Would not have felt the lack
of one small bird. So fuck you, greedy death

Sparrow farewell! I must go wipe away
the tears my love sheds for you this dark day.

I’m caught up in the long poems, but I did this back before I was rhyming and thought it needed another go…

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About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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2 Responses to My second thoughs on Catullus 3

  1. headgardener says:

    Enjoying these — yes, sonnets definitely need rhyme.

  2. swisstone says:

    I like both. This version is the better-constructed, but the first version has raw emotional power.

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