Don’t ask me to explain the meter of Roman poetry, or the complexities of the verse. Rome poetry to me seems blunt, and base. If someone wants to write in and explain it to me…please do so. The only Roman verse I ever liked is something written by Catullus. Who is he? A poet from an equestrian family in Verona. There is no official biography of his life and his poetry was considered…”explicit.” Horace, Virgil, and Ovid were admirers, and he was rediscovered in the middle ages.
Where did I discover him? In the 1963 movie with Elizabeth Taylor. Rex Harrison — as Caesar — recites a little of the poem below. Interesting, because in real life I think Catullus ticked Ceasar off at a dinner party.
Note…my favorite part is in red.
- Let us live, my Lesbia, and love.
- As for all the rumors of those stern old men,
- Let us value them at a mere penny.
- Suns may set and yet rise again, but
- Us, with our brief light, can set but once.
- The night which falls is one never-ending sleep.
- Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred.
- Then, another thousand, and a second hundred.
- Then, yet another thousand, and a hundred.
- Then, when we have counted up many thousands,
- Let us shake the abacus,so that no one may know the number,
- And become jealous when they see
- How many kisses we have shared.
If poetry is not your thing, then maybe rock music is. The following I saw on youtube and it just blew me away.