Sunday, April 22, 2007

Week 14: Reflections on Home

Carmen 31, in which Catullus addresses his home place, Sirmio, is among those that we have labelled "De Vita Sua", About His Life.

Writing about one's home-place might seem very easy to some people, but to an increasing number of people, that might seem difficult if not absurd. Fewer and fewer people in our modern age actually grow up in one place, much less on a family estate that has been in the family for multiple generations.

What can you excavate, metaphorically speaking, from Catullus' Carmen 31 about his life? And more importantly, speculate on why he might have wanted to write a poem about his home place. Finally, reflect on and answer this question: does being able to reflect on a "home place" have any appeal to you? Why, or why not?

37 comments:

Vance224 said...

I feel that Catullus’ reason for writing Carmen 31 was to make his estate known and praise it as being a happy place to grow up. This leads me to believe that Catullus had a happy life growing up in Sirmio. In my opinion, I would like to be able to reflect on growing up in one place because with moving comes the need to constantly readjust; I don’t feel that that would be a happy childhood.

welchie said...

Catullus' life must have been very ideal, especially in his eyes because in Carmen 31, he does nothing but praise his home. He probably wanted to write about his home because, like most lyrical poets, he was simply thinking about it one day. Since his home is obviously important to him, he wanted to write about it so that others could understand how he felt about his home, too.

Having a "home place" does have appeal to me, but home does not have to be where you actually live. I have lived here for 9 years now and I view it as home. However, I also view some of my friend's houses as homes, too, because I am always welcome there. Also, there is a summer camp which I have been a camper at eight times. I am on staff there this summer, and this camp feels like home to me because I have spent so much time there and I know that I am always welcome there.

A home is a place where a person knows that he or she belongs, a place where he or she feels comfortable and welcome. As human beings, it is important for us to feel that sense of belonging, therefore, everyone needs a home.

hahaha psyche said...

Catullus says "O quid solutis est beatius curis,
cum mens onus reponit, ac peregrino
labore fessi venimus larem ad nostrum,
desideratoque acquiescimus lecto?" (O what is more blessed than cares freed,
When the mind puts down its burden,
And we, tired from foreign labor, come
To our hearth and rest in a longed for bed?)
Catullus is referring to himself in these lines. He i saying that when he is tired and worn out from travelling around, the one thing that he wants more than anything is to sleep in his own bed. I would say that people do not necessarily put as much emphasis on being at home as they used to. Kids these days like being away from home as much as possible, and therefore are obviously not longing for the comfort of their own home. But, I know at least for myself, when I have been out of town for a long time, or gone all weekend, or something, I love sleeping in my own bed. It's always a big deal to come home to a clean room and a straight bed, waiting for your weary arrival. I think that someday everyone will realize the need to find solace in one's own bed. Everyone must want to sleep in a familiar place sometime.

82 said...

From Catullus' Carmen 31, I see that Catullus loves his hometown, he is glad it is safe, and treasures it because it makes him happy to come home. Maybe he wanted to write about it because it was important to him and it was something that he was famililar with. I think that it is very important to reflect on a "home place" because it shows that you are figuring out where you belong and why you like the home that you like. It seems that it is an important skill to figure out the meaning your home has to you.

Wolf Angel said...

I’m going to start with the last question first. Being able to reflect on a home place does appeal to me, mainly because I like the thought of having something to think of that would serve as a sort of security blanket. I think of “home” as the place where someone feels safest and most comfortable; “home” often holds lots of memories, which creates an emotional attachment to the place. Catullus seems to also have this view. When describing his home place, he uses words and phrases of delight and pleasure, like in lines 1-2, when he calls Sirmio “insularum ocelle,” “darling/gem of the islands,” and in line 12 “o venusta Sirmio” “o charming/lovely Sirmio.” Clearly Catullus has great attachment to the place where he grew up, even years later, so it must hold many fond memories for him. I may be completely wrong in thinking this, but perhaps Catullus wanted to write about his home place because he felt overwhelmed by things in his life and needed something comforting to think about and cling to in order to think rationally again, and his home being a grounded, comforting, unchanging thing, he could slow down, reflect, and be able to move on again.

Gretzky said...

Catullus by himself is a very interesting person. The reason i believe that he is writing about his home is because he misses it. He says in line 3 "quam te libenter quamque laetus inviso" which means "How glad and happy i am to see you" in reference to his house. Also, he is happy at his house because in the last line he says "ridente quidquid est dome cachinnorum" which means "Laugh whatever there is of laughter at home." Symbolically/ metaphorically he does not say much about his home other than that it is beautiful and is on an exquisite strip of land. it is a "paene insularum insularumque," a jewel of islands and of peninsulas (Line 1).
I have no true home, the longest i have lived in any one place is seven years. Seemingly a long time, but in the context, Catullus lived in the same place his whole life. Some thirty odd years. To me having a place called home is something that i would like to be able to do, and it would be a valuable asset if i were a writer. It would be a foundation for all of my stories and memoirs.

said...

Poem 31 tells us that throughout Catullus's life he has been many far away places, where he has experienced obstacles in his life. I think Catullus writes about his home place to show that he feels as though he is done traveling and being adventurous. So now he just wants to rest because he is tired of foreign labors. I think that reflecting on a home place gives you a warm feeling inside so it does appeal to me. Catullus says in this poem that when we tire from foreign labor all we want to do is retire to our hearth, which is a very true statement. Nothing is as good as feeling as though you are right where you belong (your home) after experiencing rough spots in your life.

Frank said...

One line that stands out to me in Catullus 31 is line 7 where he writes "o quid solutis est beatius curis," which can be translated into "O what is more blessed than cares freed?" This line alone shows that Catullus' life had some hard and difficult times but he was always able to forget these troubles when he returned home. I think his home was a place for him to find peace and relax from all of his troubles and he might have written his poem to share this with everyone.
I think it is very important to be able to reflect on a "home place." Home is where your first memories are established, it's where you end up when you have no where else to go, and it's where your family is, therefor home is where you can always find someone who loves you.

Dr. Gregory House said...

Carmen 31 shows a change in Catullus."vix mi ipse credens Thuniam atque Bithunos/he himself hardly believed me to have left Bithynian fields" and "labore fessi benimus larem ad nostrum, desideratoque acquiescimus lecto?/tired, we come from work to our home, and we are resting in a longed for bed?" Catullus has gone on many adventures to places like Bithynia and worked hard in metaphorical fields, and now he simply wants to relax and live a peaceful existence at home. Catullus writes about his home place because it is his paradise. Since Catullus is finished with the stressful life he leads, he wishes for nothing more than to return to the peaceful existence he once knew at Sirmio.

Having a place to think about as "home" is not particularly appealing to me. I think being attached to one place only makes it harder to enjoy everywhere else. As long as I have some place that's full of friends and laughter, I can make my own memories and feel comfortable. I think labelling a particular place as "home" only builds the place up in your mind and prevents you from feeling as welcome any place that's not "home."

shocka said...

Catullus speaks of his home with loving words, which leads me to believe that he cared very much for his "home place." Catullus probably had a great, fruitful childhood that benefited his latter accomplishments, hence this poem. Being able to reflect on a "home place" indicates a stable upbringing. This idea appeals to me because it creates a concrete idea in a child's mind that roots deep and impacts the rest of their lives. Being in a stable environment shapes a stable life.

whereisyourboytonight said...

Carmen 31 seems to suggest that Catullus is tiring of his lifestyle and is ready to settle down in somewhere idyllic like his childhood, Sirmio. The mention of the Bithynian fields suggests the travels he has had far from his home. However, in lines seven and eight, Catullus writes, “o quid solutis est beatius curis/ cum mens onus reponit,” which can be translated as “o what is more beautiful than dissolved cares, when a mind puts down its burden.” This indicates that Catullus is ready to depart from the lifestyle he is leading and instead cast down his burdens and rest his mind in peace. He idolizes his home place and views it as the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Being able to reflect on a home place does appeal to me. However, I don’t believe that is possible any longer in today’s society. The days of even our parents’ childhoods are gone; children are no longer allowed to play without adult supervision for fear of kidnappers and people no longer leave their doors unlocked for fear of thieves. We live in a society where children are put into daycares and schools and do not spend their days around their homes. We may be able to selectively remember certain things about our childhood to create an illusion of a home place, but I do not believe that a place like that truly exists anymore.

jrog08 said...

In Carmen 31, when Catullus elaborates on his life at the family estate of Sirmio, he is obviously having nostalgic memories of his youth and all the many good times he had there which is probably what inspired him to write the poem in the first place. I think that Catullus wanted to write a poem about his home as a small token of appreciation for the many fond years of his childhood. This poem can tell us that a) he had a privileged youth because of the size of the estate and its location on the peninsula of a clear lake b) that he draws inspiration for his poems from his home, and c) that he probably was able to use his family home as a springboard to bigger and better things in Rome because it is much easier to get started in life when you have a solid foundation on which to build.

Reflecting on a “home place” does have a little appeal to me because it is where I grew up but not like the reflection that Catullus had of knowing that he was living in a house where his ancestors lived and where his descendents will probably live as well. So, yes there is a small appeal but not nearly to the same extent as Catullus.

LOL said...

In Carmen 31, Catullus reveals a lot about his life through talking about his home place. In lines 1-2, he writes, "Paene insularum, Sirmio, insularumque ocelle / Sirmio, jewel of islands and of peninsulas." By referring to his home place Sirmio as a jewel, he reveals to us that his home place is very important and precious to him. In line 4, he writes, "quam te libenter quamque laetus inviso / how gladly and how happy I see you." In lines 7-10, he writes, "O quid solutis est beatius curis, cum mens onus reponit, ac peregrino labore fessi venimus larem ad nostrum, desideratoque acquiescimus lecto? / O what is more blessed than cares freed, when the mind puts down its burden, and tired from foreign labor we come to our hearth and rest in a longed-for bed?" In these lines, Catullus explains to us the importance of his home place. His home place makes him feel happy, comfortable, and carefree-- that, to him, is what makes his home place so special and memorable. Being able to reflect on a home place appeals to me. A home to me is a place where I am always welcome, and I am free to be myself there. A home is a place of happiness, warmth, and comfort, and I think anyone that has a home place that he or she can reflect on is truly blessed.

gabaseballer7 said...

Not only does Carmen 31 give evidence that Catullus loved his home in Sermio, but it also indicates that he loves his life in general. Staying in one remote place can help you accomplish a lot more things than if you were to move around. I think building a reputation and getting the comfortable feeling of the world around you is a big factor in the way you mature as a person. Having to constantly move around could cause some insecurity and a childhood without many memories.

tram192 said...

When I read Carmen 31 it seems that when Catullus goes to his home place, that he is free from all his troubles and tat he has nothing to worry about. He seems to remember all the happy time he had there and that brings back feeling of comfort. he probably wanted to write about his home place to escape his present troubles. Thinking back on the " good old days" when he was innocent and nothing went wrong and everything was carefree is a Utopia for him. Writing about his past brings back good meomories and feeling which he adores more than his present troubles. Catullus says quam te libenter quamque laetus inviso wich translates to ow gladyly and happy I see you (talking about his home place). He also says O quid solutis est beatius guris which translates to oh what is more blessed than cares freed. This basically means he's lost in his past and is forgetting about his problem. Being able to relfect on a "home place" does appeal to me. It gives me a place of peace, comfort, and warmth when I am away.

Jesx said...

In Catullus 31, Catullus addresses his life in the estate in which he grew up. He reflects happily on the time that he spent there and the vast images he sees when thinking about it. Also, he talks about it is "labore fessi venimus larem ad nostrum,
desideratoque acquiescimus lecto?/ And we tired from foreign labor come To our hearth and rest in a longed for bed?" It seems that he turns back to repeating about leisure. Maybe he saw this place as his key to leisure and self reflection.

I personally see a central home place as a really important way to enrich our culture about our family and ourselves. When we are frantically moving around constantly, less time is taken to reflect on the life that is lived and all the wonderful things in it. I have only moved once in my life, but it has been 12 years since. I feel like I've seen a lot of great things that I cherish more deeply by being here to root to all the wonderful people and places, and now they are very much a part of my life as my family.

cullenforhire said...

According to Carmen 31, Catullus loved Sirmio very much and thinks of it as pristine and ideal. He wrote the poem to show the readers the beauty that he comes from and how it has affected him so deeply.

I have grown up in the same house since I was four. I went to one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school (all of which happen to be next door to one another). This is my home and I have never known any other. So I can easily reflect on my home place, and in the future I should not have a problem recalling memories from here. This said, I think that this scenario is more preferable to me than that of a childhood defined by moving. I guess I just like consistency.

latin blogger said...

In Carmen 31, Catullus praises his home and describes the joy he feels from resting and letting go of his cares, “O quid solutis est beatius curis, cum mens onus reponit”(Oh what is more blessed than cares freed, when the mind puts down its burden). This shows how Catullus lives a hectic life and is able to find comfort and relaxation in his home. Catullus wanted to write about his home because this is the only place he could get away from problems with relationships, other people, and everyday responsibilities. Reflecting on a home has appeal to me because for me, like most people, my home is where I’m comfortable. I don’t think you have to live in a house for all of your life to consider it your home. A home isn’t determined by the amount of time lived there because I have moved a couple of times, and I still think each one has felt like home because each one comes along with its own memories.

chmathew said...

Catullus must have had a wonderful childhood in his home, Sirmio. He praises his homeplace in his poem and causes one to believe that he had a happy life there. He wrote about his home to tell others how he felt about it.
Having a homeplace is important to me. The house which i currently reside in has been my home for the past 15 years. This home is full of memories, and it has the essence of my childhood and all the laughter my family has shared throughout the years. It has been my comfort and my refuge all these years. Even when I go of to college and such, this home will always have a place in my heart and offer a sort of peace that I doubt I will find elsewhere.

Jeep3 said...

In the first line, "Paene insularum/jewel of islands" is a metaphor describing the value of his home-place, Sirmio, in comparison with other such islands surrounding the place. His home is the diamond of all other places.
"o venusta Sirmio, atque ero gaude gaudente; vosque, o Lydiae lacus undae,ridete quidquid est dome cachinnorum/o beautiful Sirmio, and rejoice in your guardian rejoicing; and you, o Lydian waves of the lake, laugh whatever at home there is of laughter" Catullus wants his home-place to remain appreciative of his return by retaining its beauty. He wants its waters to run joyous streams of happiness, insinuating so by using the metaphors to describe the beauty and homely feel of his home-place.
Catullus longs to return to his home place after all these years of traveling, he probably writes about his home place to ease the nostalgia that could be burning within him.
Reflecting on a home-place isn't so much appealing to me as reflecting on the thing that gave meaning to that place of home. A literal home-place can change over time, losing its beauty to destruction and whatnot, but the people or memories that gave that home-place its meaning will leave their footprints in a person's heart, the home of all places. Thus, the appeal to a home place is its meaning behind it, not the actual place itself (as Catullus did reflect on the beauty and the comfort/complacency that he feels when he is at home).

Ian said...

Surely, it would seem that Catullus enjoyed his life in Sirmio - few poets write about detested places in beautiful terms, as he does. His trying life abroad, full of foreign things and tiring work, has left him wishing for home. He writes to his home steeped in nostalgia - he invites the reader to think about his or her own home (exactly as we are asked to do here). He wants us to reflect on the beauty of our own lives and the joy we have found in our own homes.
However, dwelling on the thought of home is not useful. It holds no great interest for me - not that my childhood was bad or anything, it's just no longer there. Wistful recollection steals away time from activities more worthwhile. You cannot recreate the past so why dwell on it?

youknowdis said...

In carmen 31 there are many things said that guve us insight on what went on in Catullus's life. For example he talks about working on foreign lands and the places he has traveled too. We can automatically see he is a busy person. But, yes I think Catullus had a good life and enjoyed everything in it. He seems to be attached to his home, almost like a place where he can relax and be himself. He seems like he just wants to settle down and stay at the place he knows best. Knowing Catullus he may not even be writing about a certain place, but metaphorically speaking about a place he feels safe and secure. He would want to write about something like this just as he would want to write about love, its part of his life and makes him happy. He says "Sirmio, jewel of islands and of peninsuals" ((Paene insularum, Sirmio)) and "Quam te libenter quamque laetus inviso vix mi ipse credens Thuniam atque Bithunos liquisse campos et videre te in tuto" ((How gladly I am to see you, Scarcely myself beleiving myself that I have left behind Thynia and the Bithynia fields and that I see you safetly)). By this we know hes very happy to see his home and loves it dearly. Yes, reflecting on a home place has apeal to me because its osmething everyone can relate to. Even if its not a house it can be a place where you love to go and feel safe and secure.

In_other_words said...

If you think about it, your home is, in whole, where you spend the majority of your life. Whether it's the same home, or it changes annually, home is more or less a feeling for the sense of belonging. Catullus, unlike people nowadays, lived in the same house, a family estate, his whole life, providing an even deeper connection for him. Life at home changes constantly, but home remains constant. You live, breathe, eat, sleep, love, and change in your home, and therefore you feel the uttermost bond with your home.

5ABIblood said...

In Carmen 31, Catullus shows how much he loves and praises his home. Quam te libenter quamque laetus inviso (How gladly and how happy I see you), and Ac peregrine labore fessi venimus larem ad nostrum (And we tired from foreign labor come To our hearth and rest in a longed for bed). This shows that Catullus has been many places in his life, and now he wants to relax and settle town. It also shows that Catullus has good memories in living in Sirmio as a child, and that is why he would want tog o back. This can tie to the saying “Home Sweet Home” because home is the one place someone can truly relax and feel comfortable at all times.

Minerva said...

Quite understandably, there is something significant about a place to which people can return knowing they will find comfort, familiarity, and security. It helps to create an important sense of belonging and safety. To Catullus, few things were more satisfying than returning to his homeplace and having a well-known and loved place to rest his head. ("ac peregrino labore fessi venimus larem ad nostrum, desideratoque acquiescimus lecto", "and from a foreign labor we come home to our hearth and we lie down in our most longed-for bed")
Clearly, this "almost island" is where he came to replenish himself before taking off into the world again and where he hoped to return at the end of every journey. By writing about his home he expresses the joys and beauties of having a spot to call one's own, and how Sirmio is special to him in particular.
Despite the increasing mobility of our society, having such a "home place" is still important to me. I will undoubtedly move several times during my life, as I make the transition to college and then into the working world, but having one place in which I spent the majority of my childhood has created some fairly strong attachments in an emotional sense. And although I may not be in the same place in the future as long as my childhood home, I hope that wherever I may be holds at least a little of the same charm that Sirmio held for Catullus. Home should be a place you love.

unbuma said...

In Carmen 31, Catullus writes about Sirmio, his home place. I think he writes about his home place because he is tired of traveling and he has so many great memories back at home.Salve, o venusta Sirmio, atque ero gaude
gaudente (Greetings, O beautiful Sirmio, and rejoice in your master rejoicing), by saying this, it seems like he enjoyed his childhood and is pleased whenever he is at his home.
Writing about home appeals to me. I've lived here for the majority of my life. When i am older, i will reflect back up my younger years, I will remember that is where i had my best memories at, so i think being able to call somewhere your home place is important.

Orz said...

Carmen 31, Catullus calls his home jewel of islands and peninsulas (paene insularum, Sermio, Insularumque ocelle). Obviously, he is praising his home place, but at the same time, readers can see that his youth was wonderful because he praises the place where he grew. Also, near the end of the poem, he says, "O beautiful Sermio, rejoice in your master rejoicing"(o venusta Sirmio, atque ero gaude
gaudente).

In our time,most people move from one place to another every five years. If one can reflect his home place, he must cherish that memory because others who move constantly do not possess such memories.

ARP Rocker said...

Perhaps Catullus wrote this poem about his home to sort of brag about his origins and to perhaps get the place known. He might have wrote a poem about his home place to have a sort of nostalgic experience, i cant think of a really profound reason why he would write about his home place. Does being able to reflect on a home place appeal to me? I think so, because then you have a sense of home. Home is one of the most important places and being able to reflect on this one is important.

I can't beleive magister is a Florida Gator!!!Thats whack said...

Moving around a lot or not having a set “home place” that has been in the same spot for generations should only affect one thing and that is the person’s address. I moved from Florida to Duluth to Lilburn through my childhood and all that is important to me is my family. The houses are not what determined the way I lived. My family and I made the choice to trust in each other, grow, and love each other. Cutullus’ rendition of his homestead lacks any talk about parents or family which leads me to believe that he may have never truly experienced the important stage in a person’s life where they grow with their family. His description may be him trying to explain it to the best of his ability, but he leaves out the human aspect of a home.

TIPviking8907 said...

Catullus is obviously enamored with Sirmio; Carmen 31 is practically glowing with praise. The easy conclusion to make is that Catullus enjoys and idealizes his childhood; from that, we can say that he likely views the rest of his life as a more turbulent, less pleasant affair. I think he holds his homeland so highly because of the relative stability it offers him; he will always have Sirmio, which is much more full of laughter than the rest of his life. We know that Catullus views much of his life as being "stormy" from Carmen 4; Catullus likely wrote Carmen 31 in a time of homesickness, when he longed for that stability, that happiness and laughter that Sirmio offers him: this is exemplified in the statement "o quid solutis est beatius curis," o what is more blessed than cares freed. To Catullus, Sirmio is the place where his cares are freed.

Personally I have complex feelings about home, so I enjoy a chance to reflect upon them. I live in the south and have for over a decade, but in my heart I still feel like I belong in the north. Maine, in particular, feels more like home than any other physical location. When I visit my grandparents in Maine I feel comfortable and at peace; it is an escape from the craziness that is modern American life. I relish that feeling and long to return to it, in a similar manner to Catullus.

(yes, this is TIPviking, but for some reason my normal account isn't working at the moment.)

inthecake said...

In Carmen 31, Catullus continuously references his home. Catullus has been far away from his home, in Bithynia and Thynia according to line 5 ‘uix mi ipse credens Thuniam atque Bithunos “which states “scarcely trusting myself that I have left Thynia and the Bithynian.” Catullus, like many people today, think of home as a safe haven, or a place where one can be at ease. Being away from your home can cause you to miss it and miss the peace that is attainable while being there. In Ancient Roman times, one would grow up in the same place throughout their childhood and even live on estates that had been within the family for generations. Today is not uncommon for children to live in 2 or more homes throughout their childhood. When one moves from place to place, they lose the feeling of home, and that lose the security of that safe haven. A child that has moved multiple times in their childhood is less inclined to write about their home because it doesn’t have the deep meaning of security and peace from growing up in it as it would to others who have lived there all the years of their life. Catullus could have written this poem about his home to demonstrate the safety (line 6 “et uidere te in tuto” which states “and I see you in safety”) and comfort he feels at home and to say how much he has truly missed it. When someone is sleeping in a different setting, they long to be in their comfortable bed with those accustomed sheets and the normal shadows on the walls. In line 10, Catullus talks about his longing desire to once again be in his bed and the time when he finally get to rest on that wondrous bed “desideratoque acquiescimus lecto,” which says “and rest on the bed we longed for. “ After being away, Catullus is rejoicing in the fact of being in the familiarity of his home (line 4 “quam te libenter quamque laetus inuiso,” or “how willingly and happily I visit you”). Everyone will always be more comfortable, feel safer, and be at ease in a place they are more familiar with. This is why Catullus feels so rejoiced to be home, to the familiar place he knows. This is also like kids today when they finally get to go home after a long vacation. All they want is to lie in their own bed and be in the comfort of their own home which is the same way Catullus is feeling and is the reason for his writing or Carmen 31, to show his longing and loving of his own home. Being able to reflect on a “home place” does have appeal to me. The one place I feel most comfortable in is my home. Having lived and grown up here for sixteen years, nothing else is as familiar. Familiarity and normalcy gives me a since of safety and security nothing else can. The comfort I feel in my home would definitely incline me to reflect or write about my home place. The comfort, peace, and safety I known I will always have at my home is relevant to Catullus. This is why I could see myself being appealed to reflect and write about my home just like Catullus has done in Carmen 31.

jimi said...

in 31 catullus talks of his home and of his return to his beloved estate. i believe catullus writes about his home for a few reasons firstly i think that growing up in his time a large importance was placed upon family and the class they fell in.Catullus could have been merely showing pride in his roots by discussing a estate that has as magister said been in the family for several generations.Second i believe Sirmio,his home, means a great deal to catullus on a emotional leve. this correlates because poetry was how he expressed his feelings and in this case how he expressed how much his missed his home and how he looked forward to his return. lastly i believe catullus felt obligated to discuss such a large part of his life. be it in one poem or multiple. i think that if a person spending all their childhood in a place should naturally develop a strong attraction to that place and catullus here is merely showing that affection through words. I think modern day many kids are faced with moving schools and houses and its hard, kids feel a need to fit in and with constant moving around that goal would be hard to obtain. so indeed i believe that a specific childhood home would be important for growth.

XRoSeSrReD317X said...

In Carmen 31, Catullus praises his home mainly because he seems to appreciate its nature. Catullus states, "O quid solutis est beatius curis,cum mens onus reponit, ac peregrino labore fessi venimus larem ad nostrum, desideratoque acquiescimus lecto?", O what is more blessed than cares freed,when the mind puts down its burden,and we, tired from foreign labor, come to our hearth and rest in a longed for bed?, to signify how he feels about his home and how is home makes him feel whenever he is there. He wrote about his home because it gives him a sense of familiarity. When he states,"paene insularum insularumque", a jewel of islands and of peninsulas, he is saying how special he considers his home to be. Reflecting on a home place does have an appeal to me because my home is something I have a lot to say about. It gives me a sense of comfort to talk about my home because I am so familiar with it. One does not need to live in a family estate to call a place home. As they say, "Home is where the heart is."

Postransky said...

From Carmen 31, you can infer that Catullus leads a busy life, and doesn't think about home much, let alone visit it. He wanted to write about his home because Sirmio seems to evoke a lot of emotion in him, and poetry mostly is very emotional, so he conveys his emotion through the poem. Everyone has had the feeling of coming home after a long time away and being content there, so why not write a poem about it?

Being able to reflect on a home place appeals to me, because its nice to know you have a place that you can go to anytime and be happy, a place where you know people, you know the surrondings, a place where you are comfortable.

Will Ravon said...

In lines 7 - 10 it says,
"O quid solutis est beatius curis,
cum mens onus reponit, ac peregrino
labore fessi venimus larem ad nostrum,
desideratoque acquiescimus lecto?"

"O what are happily released cares, when the mind restores its load, and from foreign labor tired we come to our home and rest in a desired bed?"

I think this means that whenever Catullus needed a break from work he could return to his home and rest, relax, and forget about all his responsibilities. In line 1 and part of 2 it says,
"Paene insularum, Sirmio, insularumque ocelle..."

"O Sirmio, jewel of the peninsulas and islands..."

I think this means that he thinks of his home as the greatest of all homes. My home is not the greatest place in the world, but it allows me to forget about any worries or duties I might have had and relax. Growing up in just one place also lets me get accustomed to the way things work in this area I can figure out how to live minimally or fashionably, and where to go to make it seem that way as well as know where all the necessities, people, and entertainment are.

srivatsanenator said...

Poets often use their personal experiences in poems, especially those that shape their life. In the case of Carmen 31 he reflects upon Sirmio and what it meant to him. From the very begining Catullus sets up a relation ship between himself and Catullus, "Paene insularum, Sirmio, Insularumque ocelle," Catullus calls this peninsula the jewel of his eye. This shows not only richness but it also shows a sense of love and affection for Sirmio. Catullus sets up this relationship to show what has shaped his life and what effect this beautiful hometown had on his life. It is also something that is special to him and something he wants to remember. The ability to reflect upon a hometown is very appealing. Having lived in 3 different countries and 6 different locations in the first 3 years of my life I long for what Catullus had and what he speaks about in this poem. He has a sense of belonging and a place that he can identify as his own.

Kirro said...

There may not be a specific reason for Catullus writing about his home. It is possible that he is merely reflecting on good times, as many poets often do. He says nothing but praises about his homeland, and he speaks of a beautiful lake and plenty of leisure. It is possible that he has had some rough times and likes to think about the better parts of his life. This may be why he speaks of coming home from foreign labors to rest.
Personally, I think it's better to be happy where you are rather than spend time thinking about the past. Of course, in our modern society, people move around so much that the only place to call home is wherever you sleep at night. Even so, it's not hard to imagine Catullus longing to see his homeland again.