Daniela Gioffre

In this poem Catullus is explaining the relationship of Lesbia and a sparrow. He feels that the sparrow is bringing Lesbia joy and happiness, therefore he also wants the sparrow to play with him that way he too will be presented with happiness instead of the pain that he is tormented with.

It seems to me that Catullus is watching Lesbia from a distance, as he expresses his jealousy of the little sparrow that is near her and playing with her. I say he is jealous because I feel that when he calls the sparrow a pleasant little playmate he is trying to tell the bird that Lesbia's beautiful radiant self will not ever be interested in a sparrow. I also feel that he is jealous because, he wants to be next to her, and comforting her, and making her happy. Instead he is obsessing over her from far away, and telling a bird to comfort her instead of doing it himself.
It is also almost like he is telling the sparrow what to do to her in order that she be happy. For example he says, "sōlāciolum suī dolōris" telling the sparrow to comfort her when she is sad. Catullus's love for Lesbia was most definitely love at first sight, although it seems like he is afraid to approach her.

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