THE COMPLETE POETRY OF..... by Gaius Valerius Catullus


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In a new translation by Frank O. Copley, this is a complete, unexpurgated, unabridged collection of the works of the famous Roman poet who lived around 55 BC. Every age reinterprets history and its great personages in its own image. Now comes Mr. Copley with a vernacular, slangy translation of a poet he claime was a rebel, a radical, a pioneer. He quails at none of Catullus' bathroom obscenity (though he avoids some words that today's generation bandies about). All the passages usually indicated by sedate dots he renders in full. This translation will be a shock to those whose image of Catullus is a Victorian one; to those who view him as the great romantic poet, whose one passion was Lesbia. Not at all, Catullus was a saucy fellow of his times now heterosexual, now homosexual, bitter and sometimes passionate. Only those who like their classics in modern dress will like this rendition, with its touch of the gutter. But even this translator cannot detract from his full stature in the half dozen really beautiful poems for which he is famous and where his genius glows in the diction of any age. Mr. Copley is a literal but not very gifted translator. But perhaps our young rebels will like this.

Publisher: Univ. of Michigan