Friday, May 11, 2007

Week 17: Ad Finem!

We have spent the last 18 weeks reading and reflecting on the carmina of Catullus. We have viewed them under some general headings:

Catullus Lesbiam amat.
Catullusne Lesbiam amat?
Amor et Amicitia
De Vita Sua

Go back over these poems. Select a line from one poem that strikes you in a particular way. Quote the line, and then explain to us in a few poignant words what this means to you and why it captures your attention.

I will offer this one for myself:

. . . non est dea nescia nostri,
quae dulcem curis miscet amaritiem.
Sed totum hoc studium luctu fraterna mihi mors
abstulit. O misero frater adempte mihi,
tu mea tu moriens fregisti commoda, frater,
tecum una tota est nostra sepulta domus
omnia tecum una perierunt gaudia nostra
quae tuus in vita dulcis alebat amor. 68:17-24

The goddess is not unaware of me, who mixes sweet bitterness with life's cares. But, my brother's death has taken this whole work from me with sorrow. O my brother taken away from miserable me! You have broken my life's peace, you dying brother, and my whole house has been buried together with you and all my joys have perished with you--joys which your sweet love used to nourish in my life.

My quotation is long, but how it strikes me is quick and deep. Catullus captures so well how powerful our love for others can be, and how deep the wound of losing them is. Reading this poem this week, and this week in particular, as a young man in our own extended community lost his life in a tragic car accident reminds me of how much I care for those in my life (including my students!) and how much I cherish them all. The love and companionship I have with others really does nourish my life. Catullus reminds me of this as if he had written these words this week.

What you post this week does not have to be lengthy. But, do let it be your signuature to our work this semester.

With gratitude to all the members of this class for a fascinating and rewarding year,

Magister Patricius

30 comments:

Chris Weimer said...

Aw, if all I had to do for my Catullus class here at U. Memphis was reflect on one of the poems, my A would have been all the easier!

:P

Chris Weimer
http://neonostalgia.com/weblog/

82 said...

A line that strikes me would be Carmen 5 lines 1-3.
"Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis!"
"Let us live my Lesbia, and let us love, and let us consider all the rumors of severe old men to be worth just one penny."

When looking back, I liked these lines because it is talking about doing what you want to do and what you feel is right, and not leting the rumors of others hinder your actions. I think this is a good lesson to not be concerned with what others think about you.

welchie said...

The line that means the most to me just happens to be the entire Carmen 85. "Odi et amo. Quare id faciam, fortasse requiris.
nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior." or "I hate and I love. Perhaps you ask why I do this. I do not know, but I feel it happen and it's killing me"

This poem means a lot to me because this year one of my friends has been making some unwise decisions. To me, it is frustrating to watch her and try to make her see that what she is doing is wrong. I love her because we used to be very good friends, but I hate her for what she is doing to herself. And, these emotions this year have been "killing" me.

Frank said...

Lines 7-9 in Carmen 5 strike me. They say, "da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum." This translates into "Give me a thousand kisses, then another hundred,
then another thousand, then a second hundred,
then yet another thousand more, then another hundred."
These lines are probably one of Catullus' most passionate verses. He tries to explain these gestures in as close as language will allow. You can tell how deeply in love he is when he says these few lines.

Jesx said...

The most striking like to me is Carmen 11 lines 1-12

"Furi et Aureli comites Catulli,
sive in extremos penetrabit Indos,
litus ut longe resonante Eoa
tunditur unda,
sive in Hyrcanos Arabesue molles,
seu Sagas sagittiferosue Parthos,
sive quae septemgeminus colorat
aequora Nilus,
sive trans altas gradietur Alpes,
Caesaris visens monimenta magni,
Gallicum Rhenum horribile aequor ulti-
mosque Britannos,"

Furius and Aurelius, companions of Catullus, whether he penetrates the furthest of the Indies, or the shore where the beating of the eastern waves resonates far and wide,whether he penetrates into the Hyrcanos or the gentle Arabs, or the arrow-carrying Parthians, or the seven fold Nile which which colors the plains, whether he will go across the great Alps,
intending to see the great monument to Caesar, or the Gallic Rhine or the horribly distant Britain,

This is one of the few times he goes into detail about the different places in Rome. Plus, it could have several meanings towards it. In addition, this is the key poem that clearly states that the relationship between Catullus and Lesbia is over. It seems to highlight how far apart they really grew from each other, and it stuck out to me alot.

Gretzky said...

The line that has the greatest impression on me is in Carmen 5, lines 1 - 3 where Catullus says to Lesbia:
"Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis!"

"Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love, and let us judge the rumors of old men to be worth less than a penny!"

In these three lines i believe that Catullus captures the verum et animus of the world. In a few short words he tells man how to conduct its life; not looking back at tradition and not being afraid to be novus . This is truly how to live a successful life, observing tradition and taking into consideration the past, but then using Our minds to decide which path is the best to take.

Vance224 said...

In the poems that we have read this semester, one line that reaches me is from carmen 5.

“Soles occidere et redire possunt:
nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,
nox est perpetua una dormienda.”

This line says the we should live for today and not be worried about the distant future because “when once our brief sun sets, we must sleep for a perpetual night.” And constant worry and anxiety about the future will do nothing but ruin one’s health and present day.

Kirro said...

Perhaps my favorite poem of those we have studied is Carmen 96. Here is the entire poem:

Si quicquam mutis gratum acceptumve sepulcris
accidere a nostro, Calve, dolore potest
quo desiderio veteres renovamus amores
atque olim missas flemus amicitias
certe non tanto mors immatura dolori est
Quintiliae, quantum gaudet amore tuo

If anything pleasing or grateful to silent graves is able to happen from our grief, Catullus, by this longing we renew old loves, and at once we weep for lost friendships, certainly her premature death is not so much a grief for Quintiliana as she rejoices in your love.

I think this poem reveals a truth about death that we ignore in American society. For us, death is solemn and depressing, an affair accompanied by tears and pain. However, some societies treat funerals as joyous occasions, where the life of a person is celebrated rather than their death being lamented. Tears do nothing to revive any part of the dead, but happiness can bring back memories. When I die, I would rather people be happy. This is the point Catullus is trying to make in the last few lines. No one cries over their own death, nor should anyone alive cry for the dead. Death is the end of a great journey, one that should be celebrated.

Jeep3 said...

Carmen 51 has incredible descriptions of how admirable the person Catullus is describing is. "otio exsultas nimiumque gestis:
otium et reges prius et beatas
perdidit urbes.// leisure-idleness delights you and moves you to passion, idleness before and now has proved the downfall of kings and prosperous cities."
I love this passage (srry! it's a little longer than a line)because it relates to all of us who have ever just sat there, waiting for something to happen, procrastinating today's duties until some other time and dying away while our lives pass us by. Especially for young teenagers, when they believe that "love" can be real without seeing the sacrifices of "love" in the future, which give meaning to the word. Being "idle" and playing around with boyfriends and girlfriends and falling hard for them makes two people become "passionate" for each other, which leads to a great downfall. I think Catullus is trying to say that passion for someone is idleness at its finest because while you are passionate about someone, you lose sight of all things to come and become "idled" in this moment, these years of passion. 'Tis very dangerous at such a young age!

LOL said...

Of the many poems we have read this semester, some lines from Carmen 8 strike me the most.

In lines 1-2, Catullus writes:
"Miser Catulle, desinas ineptire,
et quod vides perisse perditum ducas."
"Miserable Catullus, may you stop being a fool, and what you see to have perished may you consider lost."

In lines 10-11, Catullus writes:
"nec quae fugit sectare, nec miser vive,
sed obstinata mente perfer, obdura."
"And follow not she who flees, and do not live miserably, but endure with a stubborn mind, endure."

In these lines, Catullus considers his foolishness after Lesbia has broken up with him and urges himself to toughen up and to endure life without Lesbia. He tells himself to let go of past events that do not exist, instead of obsessing and constantly thinking about them. I like these lines because what Catullus tells himself is a lot like how I try to act. I try to let go of unpleasant memories in the past and not hold grudges. I also try to be realistic and not consume myself too much in things that are not likely to happen; instead, I set priorities. Also, I always try to have a firm, strong mind in order to endure hardships.

awavehello said...

I love lines 1-3 of Carmen 5.
"Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis!"
[Let us live, Lesbia, and let us love,
and let us consider the rumors of the old men to be worth less than one penny!]

Somehow, these three lines sum up a lot of what I think about life. I truely think that we would all be so much happier if we lived our lives to the fullest without worrying about what other people are saying. The point is, in the end you die and you have to judge how much you got out of life. You don't worry about what other people were saying about you while you were living, that really doesn't matter.

chmathew said...

The lines that strike me the most are in Carmen 5, lines 1 - 3 where Catullus says to Lesbia:
"Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis!"

"Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love, and let us judge the rumors of old men to be worth less than a penny!"

To me, this line has the greatest impression because at that time, it was ludicrous to say such a thing. Catullus was so in "love" with Lesbia that he wanted to be with her regardless of what people might say. It sort of goes along with another saying "Carpe diem." Catullus doesn't give much thought to the future or what might happen to him but insists on living and loving Lesbia.

Pinky said...

"Cuius ego interitu tota de mente fugavi haec studia atque omnes delicias animi." 68:25-26

I by the destruction of my brother's love drove away from my whole mind these endeavors and all sweet things of my mind.

I would say that this sentence have captured the feeling that one feels when they have lost a family member. That overwhelming sensation that causes one to feel as if that they will no longer able to enjoy what they had once enjoyed. The moment when one feels that there is nothing good in life.

Orz said...

Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis


Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love,
and let us judge all the rumors of the old men
to be worth just one penny!


when i looked at the poems about Catullus Lesbiam amat, I really liked the these lines from carman 5. It shows an nonchalant, innocent love between Catullus and Lesbia if Lesbia is real.

latin blogger said...

Nunc iam illa non vult: tu quoque impotens noli,
nec quae fugit sectare, nec miser vive,
sed obstinata mente perfer, obdura.
Vale puella, iam Catullus obdurat,

Now she desires no more: you too, weakling, do not desire;
and do not chase her who flees, nor live in unhappiness,
but harden your heart, endure and stand fast.
Goodbye, sweetheart. Catullus now stands fast

This shows the strength that Catullus knows he will need in order to get over Lesbia.
These lines are powerful because they show us that we need to stay strong and move on when things don’t happen like we would want them to. People shouldn’t dwell on self-pity, but should choose to recognize that there is better future.

TIPviking8907 said...

I would like to quote all of Catullus 51, even though it is pretty much a translation of a Sapphic poem. Catullus 51 speaks to me strongly; idleness is a major flaw of mine, especially in the areas of love. Since I cannot choose the entire poem, I will simply quote my favorite section, the third stanza:

"Lingua sed torpet, tenuis sub artus
flamma demanat, sonitu suopte
tintinant aures, gemina teguntur
lumina nocte."

But my tongue lies still, thin flames flow below my limbs, my ears ring with their own sweet sound, my eyes are covered with twin nights.

This section in particular strikes me because I know these symptoms rather well; they are what paralyze me when I would do what I need to get what I want. Friday morning my girlfriend broke up with me; I still haven't talked with her about the decision. I'm unable to take the action that I must because of how much I care. I feel these symptoms, and I know that she does not, and I can neither think of or do anything else.

jrog08 said...

Although we only read Carmen 101 today, I believe it is one of the most potent of Catullus’ works to date. He speaks to us, and to anyone who has lost a loved one, so poignantly that you cannot help but be moved by his words: “quandoquidem fortuna mihi tete abstulit ipsum heu miser indigne frater adempte mihi. Nunc tamen interea haec, prisco quae more parentum tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias, accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu, atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale” or “Since fortune has taken you away from me, alas unhappy brother unworthily taken from me, now nevertheless meanwhile these things which by the ancient custom of our parents have been handed down for funeral rights. Understand with a fraternal tear many flowing things and into eternity, brother, hail and be well.” His pain is so basic that it is almost tangible and anyone can easily relate to it. I personally feel that this is one of Catullus’ best poems, in terms of language and its comprehensibility. Finally, the last line of the poem speaks with a simple grief that will echo into eternity for all the countless people who wish to somehow alleviate the pain that the death of a loved has caused. If you want to put your pain into words and deal with the harsh realities of death, this poem is it.

5ABIblood said...

One of my favorite lines of Catullus’ poetry is in Carmen 51. In lines 5 to 12 it says:
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 teguntur lumina nocte (your sweet laughter, something which robs miserable me of all feelings: for as soon as I look at you, Lesbia, no voice remains in my mouth). These lines mean a lot to me because Catullus shows me that life should be full of passion and desire. Catullus shows me that some things in life should be fought for, and you should not give up on something that you really desire. This necessarily does not have to be about a female, but it can be anything in life that one wants and therefore should pursue.

whereisyourboytonight said...

Although the assignment was to choose one line, I decided to choose an entire poem that struck me as particularly insightful. I chose Carmen V:

Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis!
soles occidere et redire possunt:
nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,
nox est perpetua una dormienda.
da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.
dein, cum milia multa fecerimus,
conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus,
aut ne quis malus inuidere possit,
cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.

Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love,
and let us consider the rumors of old men
to be worth just one penny!
The suns are able to rise and fall:
When a brief light has fallen for us,
we must sleep an eternal night.
Give me a thousand kisses, then another hundred,
then another thousand, then a second hundred,
then yet another thousand, then another hundred.
Then, when we have made many thousands of kisses,
we will mix them all up so that we don’t know,
and so that no one can be jealous of us when he finds out
how many kisses we have made.

To me, this is such an inspiring poem about love, and I can understand the exact emotions Catullus was going through. You can truly sense that exciting feeling when you first find someone special, and all you want to do is spend your time with that person, disregarding all responsibilities and any opinions others may have. The poem points out that life is short; it gives me that urge to just live life to the fullest because it is the only chance I have. In addition, everyone knows that kisses are enjoyable, and Catullus points out the desire to just kiss over and over, so many times that you lose count. It is impressive to me that Catullus wrote in such a way that his poems still speak to the people in today’s modern, and very different, society. The fact that this poem still applies so perfectly millennia later proves that Catullus was a literary genius who truly understood basic themes of humanity.

Magister Patricius said...

Ah, Mr. Weimer, either you are making a too subtle joke, or you do not understand what these students' requirements are. In the space of the last 17 weeks, posting to this blog is just one of many activities they have done around Catullus' poetry. In addition to weekly grammar, translation and scansion tests, discussions about the poetry in English and Latin, they have had 5 major exams, read, written about and presented seminar style on a scholarly journal article dealing with some aspect of Catullan scholarship, taken a performance exam, and will, next week, take a final exam.

It is fairly well understood, though, that high school students in AP Latin work a good deal harder for their A than their counterparts at the university. :)

BTW, you and your colleagues have quite a nice website. I've enjoyed visiting it, and will recommend some of its resources to my students next year. And, thanks for listing our little work here on your site.

Magister Patricius

youknowdis said...

My quote comes from camren 51 lines 9-12.

"lingua sed torpet, tenuis sub artus
flamma demanat, sonitu suopte
tintinant aures, gemina teguntur
lumina nocte" ((but the tongue is paralyzed, a fine fire
spreads down through the limbs, the ears ring with their very own sound, my eyes veiled in the double nights)).

This line to be opens up the idea that Catullus has a burning passion for this woman and knows how to express himself. I liked these lines because it speaks the truth, this is a connection to how some people feel when in love. Even though we find that this may not have been a love for Catullus but more a lust. But, just the passion and grace in these lines is lighthearted and fun to read. Especially as a teenager its nice to read about love and things going right rather then death and depression.

Eureka! said...

"Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus, rumoresque senum severiorum omnes unius aestimemus assis!"

(Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love and let us consider all of the rumors of old men worth one penny)

I love this passage because it is just so beautiful. The words may seem kind of cliché, but I think that they are really beautiful. i bet that deep down inside every girl wants a guy to say something taht romantic and beautiful to her.

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

“Idleness, Catullus, is your trouble” (Carmen 51 line 13 Otium, Catulle, tibi molestum est) This line resonates through all of Catullus’ poems and is an integral piece of the puzzle when trying to get an overall portrait of who Catullus truly is. Catullus is a person who does not yield to anyone, he always is going to do what he believes in, and tries to never leave himself doing stale things. That is what makes Catullus such an impressive poet to find out about, because he always seemed to be going after something he wanted whether it was Lesbia and their controversial relationship, or Catullus truly wanting to be accepted (ex. in Carmen 44), or just wanting to be back in the past at home with his brother (Carmen 68). That one line foreshadows more than any first time reader of Catullus could ever expect.

Ave Atque Vale

-The final blog of I Can’t Believe Magister is a Florida Gator That’s Whack

tram192 said...

Well, i would have to say the line that appeals to me the most is located in carmen 85. It says:
Odi et amo. This line is simple, yet, it has alot of meaning to it. This translates to: I hate you and i love you. This relates to me when my parents yell at me and tell me and interupt me on my work, even tohugh I feel that aner, like I hate them, inside I still love them because they are my parent and no matter ow much we may happen to fight and no matter how many times I feel like I hate them, I will always love them.

XRoSeSrReD317X said...

A line from one of Catullus' poems that seems to stick out at me is:

"Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis!"

Let's live Lesbia, and let's us, and let us think that the rumors of old men are worth less than a penny.

This line strikes me as emotional and loving because it seems as though Catullus does not care about what other people think when it comes to his relationship with Lesbia. I think that in our society we lost the feeling of being with someone without worrying about what other people might think. Yet Catullus is able to capture the true feeling of loving someone in just a mere few words, and he does this so (writing the poem and loving Lesbia) without caring what other people may think. He truly cares about her, and he is not afraid of showing it in any way possible.

shocka said...

The line(s) that I enjoyed reading most this semester were from Carmen 4, lines 1-5: "Phaselus ille, quem videtis, hospites, ait fuisse navium celerrimus, neque ullius natantis impetum trabis nequisse praeterire, sive palmulis opus foret volare sive linteo."
"That little ship, which you see, guests, says he was the swiftest of ships and had not been unable tp skip over that attack of any swimming plank, whether his work would be able to fly by sail or by oar blades."
This phrase caught my attention because it is about Catullus' self-esteem. At first it struck me as arrogant, but then reading over it again, I now understand it is more about being yourself and fighting for what you believe in, by any means necessary, even if you are facing opposition from others. Catullus claimed he has risen from the aversion and is the best he can be.

In_other_words said...

Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis!

Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love,
and let us judge all the rumors of the old men
to be worth just one penny!

This quote just represents all of what I feel about the subject of love. Catullus is not caring about anyone else's opinion. It's like he is so in love that he can just look at the world and say that he loves Lesbia. I just think these lines are truly beautiful, and simply poetic.

Minerva said...

Okay, okay, so I'm a bit late. AP Exams fogged up my head. But I can't just let the last post go unanswered.

totum illud formosa nego:nam nulla venustas, nulla in tam magno est corpore mica salis.

I deny that she is beautiful as a whole: she has no sex appeal, not a grain of salt in such a large body.

In a few words, Catullus has summed up the differentiation we make between those we are attracted to and those we are not. It may be that many people are beautiful in society's eyes, but individuals find the unique draw of those people on a separate level, apart from what others see or perceive. To Catullus, Lesbia has something that other girls do not, something that extends beyond their stature or the tone of their skin. Venustas denotes the special quality she holds for him, and it also signifies the mysterious and often erratic nature of human emotion.
Catullus' poems this year have almost all had a connection to my own life. There are certainly differences in culture references, but oddly enough, it seems as if much of the material we covered followed more or less the flow of events in my own year. Combined with our class discussions, it really gave me something to reflect on at certain points, perhaps when I needed something to relate to most.
So thanks, as always, for the brain fodder and a pretty good year. Until next fall...
Gratias tibi,
Minerva

Postransky said...

The first line from Carmen 5 "strikes" me in particular way I suppose. "Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus, rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis"
(Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love, and let us judge all the rumors of the old men to be worth just one penny.) This line basically describes my view on life: don't care about what other people think and just go with the flow. Live life how you want to live it, not how others wants you to. Too often we get caught up in what others think and don't take the time to do what we ourselves want to do.

M. said...

If you want to hear Catullus read aloud, there is a reasonably large and growing collection of his poems available for download on the LATINUM podcast. The majority are read by students from Swarthmore College, PA.

You will also find Horace Odes Book One, and a selection of other Latin texts read aloud available for download.

http://latinum.mypodcast.com