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   Catullus: love and poetry                   indexitaliano.jpg (1812 byte)     virtual tour

 


CATULLUS’ PORTRAIT

The changeable and tormented personality is found out from Catullus’ poems: in fact he goes from hard invectives against his enemies and Lesbia to the sweet words of memories.

At the beginning of the love story Catullus seems to be vesanus, he wishes never-ending kisses and doesn’t care gossips ("[…] Rumoresque senum severiorum/omnes unius aestimemus assis", 5,2-3).

In his happiness the poet forces himself and Lesbia to live these moments ("Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus", 5,1).

His deep passion can be found in the effects the woman causes in him ("Nam simul te,/Lesbia, aspexi, nihil est super mi/lingua se torpet, tenuis sub artus/flamma demanat/sonitu suopte/tintinant aures, gemina teguntur/lumina nocte", 51, 7-12).

lato nordBut when Lesbia betrays him, Catullus is furious and rails against her, without saving rude words to her and to her lovers ("Cum suis vivat valeatque moechis/quos simul complexa tenet trecentos,/nullum amans vere, sed identidem omnium/ ilia rumpens", 11,17-20).

Catullus seems to know himself very well: he is a broken-hearted young men, but he can perfectly analyse his mood, his emotions and his limits ("Miser Catulle, desinas ineptire,/et quod vides perisse perditum ducas.", 8, 1-2).

His love story is going to the end and  he desperately asks Gods to help him ("O di, si vestrum est misereri, aut si quibus umquam/extremam iam ipsa in morte tulistis opem,/me miserum aspicite et, si vitam purite ex omni pectore laetitias!/ Non iam illud quaero, contra ut me diligat illa,/ aut, quod non potis est, esse pudica velit:/ ipse valere opto et taetrum hunc deponere morbum,/o di, reddite mi hoc pro pietate mea", 76, 17-26).

Catullus achieves a suffered maturity: passing through doubts, memories and despair, with a conscious resignation of his change.

 

Caterina Croce, Margherita De Mori, Federica Giarola, Manuela Marai e Valentina Pesci

 

 

 

 

unius aestimemus assis (5,3), quod vides perisse perditum (8,2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sirmione, Catullus' villa, the north side.