Catullus 51 by Gaius Valerius Catullus
Short analysis This poem was originally written in Latin (English did not exist at the time). For your convenience, both versions of the poem is listed below. This poem speaks of Lesbia who was the great love of Catullus. Many of Catullus' poems were addressed to her. However, that doesn't mean he truly wrote the poems about her. Indeed, the writings are most likely about his own love that captured his eyes and captured his mind. He couldn't help but write about her, and since the goddess of love was the one to look towards and pray to, he did just that.
"Catullus 51" consists of four stanzas made up of four lines each. They are not put into rhyme, but hold amazing rhythm and truly gives the sense of romance.
Catullus 51 That fellow seems to be equal to a god, That fellow, if it is proper, to surpass the gods, Who is sitting opposite you Sees you and hears you Sweet laughter, which in my wretched state robs All sense from me: for as soon as I looked upon You, Lesbia, no voice remained for me upon my mouth My tongue grows numb, a thin flame Seeps beneath my limbs, my ears ring With their own sound, my eyes are covered With twin night. Leisure, Catullus, is bothersome to you: In leisure you exult too much and without restraint: Leisure has ruined both former kings And cities once wealthy.
Catulle LI Ille mi par esse deo videtur, ille, si fas est, superare divos, qui sedens adversus identidem te spectat et audit dulce ridentem, misero quod omnis eripit sensus mihi: nam simul te, Lesbia, aspexi, nihil est super mi vocis in ore, lingua sed torpet, tenuis sub artus flamma demanat, sonitu suopte tintinant aures, gemina et teguntur lumina nocte. Otium, Catulle, tibi molestum est: otio exsultas nimiumque gestis: otium et reges prius et beatas perdidit urbes. Carmen Catulle
Article continues below...
Next: Catullus 62