i revised that catullus paper.
now it includes a bit of explanation of why i chose to order it as a venn diagram (the original assignment asked for a list but i thought that was an unfair guideline).  i did get an A on the first draft (!! to my surprise!  it didn't feel like my best work and the topic is definitely outside of my comfortable knowledge.) but i had specific comments to explain or expand on certain topics so here is my edited work.


based on this book:


my professor also had a comment "what do you mean by 'public pervert'?"
to be honest, i was directly referencing this song:


The poems of Catullus vary in meter, style, and theme.  While Catullus conveys his thoughts effectively through the individual poems, it is not known how he intended to portray them as a collection.  In Catullus: The Complete Poems (Oxford World’s Classics) the poems are arranged by meter and in no particular thematic order .  In order to show a more cohesive narrative and better represent the philosophy of Catullus, the following revised arrangement is proposed:

27, 29, 31, 33, 46, 73, 78, 81, 84

2B, 4, 17, 25, 34, 53, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 66, 67, 68B

10, 26, 28, 39,52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 113, 114

57, 59, 74,78B, 80, 88, 89, 90, 94, 97, 98, 105, 106, 111

2, 3, 24, 45, 86, 87

14B, 16, 42, 93, 98

1, 6, 15, 50, 68A, 102

8, 11, 60,85, 99, 104

9, 13, 32, 58, 100, 101, 109

12, 14, 21, 22, 23, 30, 35, 36, 37, 38, 47, 40,41, 44, 49,77, 82, 91, 95, 103, 110, 108, 116

5, 7, 51, 43, 58, 70, 72, 75, 76, 79, 83, 92, 109

Preferably, the poems would be visually represented in a nestled grouping to indicate overlapping themes:

The poems are to be read from the outside in, starting with observations and converging on the crux of all themes, Lesbia.  This format is suggested because it covers the topics from most general to most specific and complex.  A reader may have the freedom to read within the theme any particular poem, as they do not tell a linear story. While some poems do refer to the same characters, they are mostly stand alone topics and do not have to be read in a specific order, just as a thematic group.  Using a Venn diagram clearly organizes poems by themes but causes less confusion in the event a poem has multiple themes.  A Venn diagram also shows how the themes are related to each other, which helps to define the author’s psyche as much as the poems contents do.
            Catullus was a neoteric poet and writes many poems about his contemporaries and other aspects of the average Roman citizen life, compared to other poets of his past and present who wrote epics of great detail and length.  In comparison, the poems of Catullus are succinct (but no less potent) and are of a more familiar content.  His poems can be thought of as observations and are a glimpse of his life-philosophies; to do what pleasures you, reject those who anger you, be a good citizen, and express your feelings.  Some of this comes out in his poems describing the landscape and Roman way of life, such as XXXI about Sirimo, “O what more blissful than to have no worries”. (30.7) Just like in current times, The Roman citizen felt pressures of living in the city and enjoyed the ocean or countryside for relaxation when not in times of war or too many business concerns or other kinds of strife.  Other poems, are scenes from regular city life such as, “O best of thieves in public baths...” (33.1).  More formal writing or historical texts may gloss over thieves or slave activity or dinner parties with friends.  Catullus, writes less about the political activities of aristocrats and more on the encounters of an average citizens’ life.  This is what sets Catullus apart from other epic poets and essayists of the time: the honest reactions to realistic events.  Poems in the theme, Observations, are best read first to get a sense of context of the world in which Catullus lived and wrote. 
            Epics were a common poetry style of the era, often spanning several papyri and chronicling long detailed stories in a Greek style.  Even Catullus could not escape this genre of poetry.  However, the length is more manageable and the stories he chooses to tell are of relationships between people, compared to the more traditional epics, which may focus on war, creation of a kingdom, or gods’ influence over mortals. For example, in LXIV, a story of lost love is told in duplicate as a warning to all newly wed couples.  “But once the longing of their lustful mind is slaked/They don’t recall their words or balk at perjury.” (64.147) Although fantastical characters are mentioned, the main theme of the story is forlorn love.  The stories are best read after Catullus’ general observations because they are narratives from his point of view.  The mini-epics are longer than his other poems and can include many themes based on his observations.  Catullus’ narrative voice can be easier defined in the longer poems and are like an over view for the tone of his other shorter poems.
            Returning to the more concrete realm of Catullus’ life, the topic of politics can be enjoyed after general observations and stories.  Politics are poems that describe the social strata of ancient Rome; not just politicians but also the aristocratic or low-life commoners and their interaction with the rest of the society.  More specifically, many poems seem to be about public perverts.  This salacious gossip is entertaining without using direct language- many metaphors are used to allude to the lewd acts performed.  From the content of Catullus, as well as other known authors of old Rome (such as Suetonius), it would seem that perverts were rampant in the city despite being frowned upon by society.  Fortunately for readers, perverts lend themselves as quality material for Catullus’ witty poetry.  “Seeing an auctioneer with a pretty boy/ One can’t but think he wants to sell himself.” (106) and “TOOL tries to scale the Mount of Pipla: Muses with pitchforks throw him down.” (105) speak humorously of playboys in just a few clever lines.  These social interactions are also observations but are a more specific category of poems that help describe the society in which Catullus lived.
            The following categories of love, hate, and friends are overlapping realms.  While they are contradicting themes, it is not uncommon to find people who occupy more than one of these realms.  One particular person Catullus names is his love, Lesbia, who occupies all three realms. 
            “Friend” is a general term used here to represent associates of Catullus.  Some are more familiar to the author and are mentioned more often while some characters in the poems are Roman citizens known by name.  Friend is also a descriptor used ironically; while often referring to people on good terms with each other, Catullus also attacks some associates on account of promiscuous behavior, or more comically, bad body odor.  “You feed a fierce goat down in Arm-Pit Valley.” (69.6) Based on Catullus’ other poems, it does not seem like the attacks are on enemies, but are rather sarcasm or criticism of friends.  Catullus obviously knew these subjects well enough to judge their character.  One example is in XLIV, of a dinner party of a writer whose works are so dry they gave Catullus a cough.  “For while I wanted to be Sestius’ guest I read his Speech packed with poison and with pestilence, Whereat a feverish cold and chronic cough Kept shaking me…” (44.10) Attacks on enemies, are listed strictly under the category of hate, as they only convey feelings and are not directed toward a specific person, “I’ll bugger you and stuff your gobs… For thinking me, because my verses Are rather sissy, not quite decent.” (16.1) speaks out violently against critics of the author’s works.  Other poems of romance, such as XXXII, not involving Lesbia, are categorized under love.  “Please, my love, sweet Ipsitilla, My darling, my own clever girl, Command my presence at siesta…” (32.1)
            The pinnacle of Catullus’ poems are the ones featuring Lesbia. The author had conflicting feelings for Lesbia and the inner torment this caused him is reflected in his poetry.  Love is a complicated emotion that cannot be described in a single sentence, let alone a single poem.  Catullus’ observations of humanity are layered to create a complex description of his feelings toward Lesbia.  Thus, it is only appropriate to read the poems concerning her after reading through Catullus’ other works to see where he draws inspiration.  His general feelings toward Lesbia is of lust- a combination of love and perversion.  However, one can elucidate Lesbia does not reciprocate feelings of love completely and is in fact an adulteress, based on the poems. “Lesbia’s always abusing me… I’m just the same- forever praying to be rid of her, but I’m damned if I don’t love her.” (92.1) Perhaps one of Catullus’ most infamous poems, LXXXV, is a self reflection on love.  Although Lesbia is not explicitly mentioned, she is likely the subject of this poem due to her actions and history with Catullus.  Lesbia’s actions are despicable yet Catullus cannot help but fall for her charm and beauty.  “For many Quintia’s beautiful; for me she’s fair… Now Lesbia’s beautiful, wholly most lovely, and alone She has robbed them all of all their charms.” (86.1) His hyperbolic descriptions of her is an indication of infatuation, but to continue loving her even knowing of her promiscuous activities is more than just shallow admiration of her beauty, it is love. 
            Catullus was not only a clever wordsmith but an idealistic observer of humanity.  He was self aware, recognizing his own contradicting feelings toward Lesbia.  He is a great poet because he is able to combine his observations with complex feelings and express them in enjoyable diction and meter.  While some may consider a genius to be the man who comprehends complex ideas, it is useless information if it cannot be communicated.  Catullus is a hero of Roman literature because he found the timeless complexities of everyday life and presented them to readers in the form of clever poetry that can be comprehended and enjoyed for many generations.  The proposed rearrangement of his poems into themes will create a revised collection that better describes Catullus’ world and superbly displays his genius insights into humanity. 

No comments:

Post a Comment




music 30 days of music Aerial friday5 20Q hawaii samadhi yoga bikeventure la dispute school touché amoré book silversun pickups concert lists metric science vinyl cooking destiny live show poweryoga hawaii rooster teeth EmM bicycle food microbiology movie movies phantogram spring break spring break 2015 2010 Book review Stephen king cardistry koji reads shopping work beach books ceremony coffee cover deafheaven movie review pyhiflygirls tycho virology aerial problems art b9 bacteria bus clothes comics drug church earl grey emily haines interpol mlt other realms pacific rim raveonettes republik roman literature sephora sick socks sspu summer sviib taking back sunday tattoo tissu vales wiwt 6131 YYY amyz arcade fire balance and composure batman blood blood bank brambles carnavas casket lottery catullus cheese chinese christmas coffeesundays contortion culture abuse death cab for cutie dengue destiny 2 exercise grouplove gymnastic linguist handstand jawbreaker lily allen makeup me first and the gimme gimmes memories minecraft mlt adventures modest mouse molecular motion city soundtrack needle work nightwing no sleep records octopus recipe records review saga scattegories small brown bike sunbather tigers jaw tiny cats weezer xbox one yummiestars #hrf2015 2014 2018 accident adult swim singles afi album review anakin anamanaguchi angels and airwaves asm atul gawande beach house beer best of biomusicology birds in a row blast bruises cadence caitlin doughty campy candy hearts cards carpe noctem cayetana charcoal checklist manifesto chemistry chicago chinese new year clones of the queen concussion dc comics deathwish delerium descendents descender dragonette dress earth wind and fire felix cartal fight club fishing fletcher c johnson ghost feet glow flow goodtime boys heart shaped box hematology hip key how to with joel and adam hungry ear hurricane interstellar jjak joe hill john wick kintsugi lab last look live lucky hell lululemon lyra manoa martin solveig megwin melissa mls adventures modern baseball mr mercedes nails ncbi nerves never come undone nicole atkins no doubt ofelia orange bang pixies poetry pool portal ps4 research rick and morty rohnert park rtpodcast sandwich school of seven bells sequencing shameless shave ice shimmering stars sirens six feet under sleep society of s sorority noise star wars static trap steam stereochemistry strava strfkr sysmex the donnas the killers the modern waikiki the saddest landscape the winter passing there is no learning curve third man records thrice thursday tokyo milk tove lo training for aerial on the ground tron unpopular opinion waiola xcm xur yeah yeah yeahs #hrf2016 #hrf2017 #myhour #tdf2015 #teampretzeltank '68 007 100% 11-22-63 16s 1970s 1999 2011 2015 2017 35mm 3hive 7seconds 90s :) @8_semesters @wild_twinkies Carrie Fishbones GITS Godzilla Groundhog Day HST L-cuts L4D2 MCR Pink vans RIP SEM Streptococcus The Great Wall UH a favor house atlantic a girl walks home alone at night abraham lincoln vampire hunter achievement hunter aculpture aesop rock agar aji fry akari ala moana alam alfa beach allister alt/air amanda tastes ambient american hustle amoeba music antics arsenic art of play atlas genius autoclave b sides backstage bai san bakasana baking ballet bandcamp barbra streisand bargain basement battlewagon bayonetta beach slang beastie boys beats begiragons big bang theory big grams bike biochem bitter clarity uncommon grace black dress blaisdell blink 182 blondie bob bond boscia brad meltzer brave new world brazil brew bridge 9 bro force broke for free bronchial wash burrito buxom buy local calligraphy calzone campy group campylobacter cancer candida candida albicans carrot carrot cake carsick cars cartwheel cascade catbird cdc chairlift charlie day cheap monday chet faker chirashi chloe cho dang choir of the mind chores chozo christmas movies cinerama circuits circulus cisco kid clarity cloning cls coexist coffee stout coheed and cambria coincidence coli com truise comicon common reactor conference constantine cotq country comfort credence clearwater revival cremation crow csf cults cursive dads daiei dan and dave dan deacon daniel dae kim dashboard david rees day by day records dead weather deadlines dealersgrip death deep blue deer tick defender class delicious demetri martin depression cherry detective dee devart devrim kay dhm diamond youth dick grayson dim mak dinosaur pile up disco discordia discount dance discovery distance/closure divination diy dl dna dntel does it work dog don quijote donnie darko doodles double ankle hang down the cliff dreamcar dreams dscvry duolingo dustin nguyen e. coli ebola edge edward benz 27 times el pintor el-p electric president electricity elle king emb embroidery enbalming enjoy your burrito epidemiology eqs eraas erik kwakkel esr evenings event evil needle exam exotica eye shadow facebook fall behind me family fashion fat bob fatale fck fiction firefly fireworks fitz and the tantrums flash flash fact flight facilities flight of the conchords flower drum song forever 21 forgettable forgetters formula x fountains of wayne frameworks franz ferdinand fresh cafe friday the 13th fuck yes fulton funeral game of thrones gate gatsby genetics ghost bc ghost in the shell ghost key ghostly giant glass glass animals good charlotte google gpc grant imahara grayson green river gtd guardians of the galaxy guest blogger gym class heroes h&m habits haemophilus influenzae haim hair half gramme holiday halloween handwriting harlem harmonica harold harrow hawaii problems heavy circles helena bertinelli hell bunny hello hellogoodbye hematocrit heroquest high water marks history history channel hl2 hohokum holiday mart homework houdini howl howl gaff gaff hummus hxc hyper light drifter i love crazy tags iasip ice cream idea's music and books identity crisis in all dishonesty in and out of control in gratitude inside insomnia instagram instax instrumental interpro into the wayside intrepidity ipod iwant iyo udon jack johnson jack white japan jaspas jejuni jellys jeniferever jimmy fallon jisuk jld jock journey joy departed joy division jpb julian casablancas julien baker justice league justice league dark kaimana kakaako kalapana kapiolani kat von d keep talking and nobody explodes kegg kent keratin kickstarter kiki kimchi kimchijeon kingsman kitsune kittygeddon klaxons knives don't have your back koolau ballroom korean koundinyasana lab problems lab report labyrinth ear last gang records latte art layers of fear lazaretto le castle vania leahi left 4 dead 2 leotard leptospirosis les savy fav let me in lgc library light we made like like drive in lil gothams lipstick lipstories liquid nitrogen lismore lit little richard llea lol lolita loma prieta longboard lookbook love luster luck lust lust lust lymbyc systym magic magic island magnolia cafe mah jong maiden heist mail day mais2 major league makapuu maldi-tof mandarin martin denny marvel matty matheson mavica me earl and the dying girl media medieval memento memento bento mental block gaming meta metamorphoses mf doom mgmt michael crichton micr490L midweek mika milk tea mind of a chef miss manners modcloth mogwai mohawk monty python monuments men moon moose blood morbid mortdecai motown mr robot mr tea musubi my chemical romance my sharona naked juice narcissus ncis ncisla neo classical nerd nerdist new eagle cafe new politics new scene new year nickleback nicole atikins nightmare before christmas nijiya nimitz no backup plans noisey nonfiction novo biocin now now oats oblivion ombre omori boy on the spot only in youth opera origa osaka loop line ost outkast overcooked ovid pacific rim 2 pai gow pam pancakes pandemic paramore paranormal activity part time job party past is prologue past present felix pat mcgrath labs patreon patrick kindlon pcr pe'ahi peanut butter and jelly peb pecan tree penny dreadful peony perennial flux performance perfume peter pan collar pfam photog physics pikul pita pizza plants plastic metal platelets playdead pointe poker pole polefiction politics popo popoitis portugal the man post office potpourri pow wow hawaii prawn prey primer prince prismatic procrastination protein pu er pun punk pusheen pyogenes pyromaniac quiche r dorothy wayneright rage ramblings ramen ramones random random weirdos rap record shop dude red hot chili peppers red machine redbone reflective replacements revision rhcp ringtone ripd roller skates rooms of the house roxy rozwell kid rsd rsd2018 rumu run for cover run the jewels sailor moon sakura mochi salem's lot salonpas samurai ice cake san francisco sapling satoshi kon saves the day scans scar tissue scarjo scary scorpion scrabble scrubs sds page sean kingston searching for a pulse sed rate seeking a friend for the end of the world self defense family self published separation sequins serein seven psychopaths sewing sex pistols sgl shadowplay shaloha sheezus shipping shoes shout out louds show shrimp sia sierra nevada sikdorak silly girl sinclair library skateboard skyfall slipshift smart db smashing pumpkins smoke gets in your eyes snl somnio soundcloud speech and debate sphere spill spyral stamps staph staphylococci star trek starcrawler stellastarr* straddle ups string db suckerpunch sudafed suetonius suicide squad suis la lune sunday morning at a funeral sunny day real estate superhot surya namaskar sushi sushi king swedish swim swoon taco tuesday taiyaki tantalus target taste tea taunt tcb technical writing tempura tf2 tguk thank jose thanksgiving the angels the artist the audition the bougies the byrds the calm blue sea the chase the get up kids the hives the kingsmen the kinks the las the pipettes the quick the raconteurs the russian the supremes the things we think we're missing the voices the weight of the world the wolfpack the xx there's nothing thieves like us threadless three cheers for sweet revenge ticket to ride tideland time travel tiny echo tiny me title fight tittibhasana toby todor kobakov tokyo godfathers tom moffat topshelf records totoro touche amore tour de france tower records transfection transformation tricks trojans tumblr turnover turnstile tv twenty-two twitter two dots udon undercut uniprot unknowns unrelatableexperience vacation valve vampire vegetables verde verse vertigo vibrio vice video dump violet viva fest volary wakey wakey walking backwards man walmart waning star want to read war washed out wednesday addams welwing what is free to a good home what we do in the shadows white house down white stripes whole foods wildhoney wildlife wired won tons word freak workaholics wu xia xbox 360 yoga ball yogagypsy yuck zatanna zero zippys zombie zones zotero