Saturday, October 04, 2008

Catullus on Aemilius

Mrs. Shambles had to write something for a Roman history class, and I found this lovely, contemporary translation of Catullus. For those of you who don't know, Catullus was an Ancient Roman poet, contemporary of Caeser and Cicero whose straightforward, unapologetic, and sometimes baudy language makes him a joy to read. He's been compared at times to Charles Bukowski. Here's a sample:


I almost can't tell if it makes any difference
greeting Aemilius from the front or behind.
The smell is so awful. Perhaps his ass is less
hideous because it has no teeth. The ones he has are a foot long,
his gums are rotting, and his lips are like a donkey's
cunt as it parts on a hot day when she is taking a piss.
He says he fucks the girls. He thinks he's charming.
He is so dumb he can't even walk a miller's donkey
around a grinding wheel. If there's a woman anywhere
who would touch him, she'd have no problem licking the
diseased ass of an aged hangman as he waits between jobs.

Who thought Roman poetry could be so much fun?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, I just discovered my new favorite poet.