Latin 4 Student

by Tatiana Baez
(Bedford, NY)

For some unidentifiable reason, I perceive Catullus to be an overly confident, perhaps conceited, person. However, in his early poems to Lesbia, he comes off as extremely shy and unworthy of Lesbia’s attention and adoration. In Catullus 51, Catullus makes Lesbia seem like a queen, and he makes himself seem like a poor peasant that does not have the power or authority to merely glance at her. He pines from afar, and he envies whoever is lucky enough to be in her presence. I sympathize for Catullus in this poem, because he does not make himself known to the one he loves. I also want to know: does Lesbia have any idea how Catullus feels at this point?

Catullus’s love for Lesbia is evident in Catullus 3 as well. Throughout the beginning of the poem, Catullus’s sympathy is directed toward the “poor sparrow.” But by the end of the poem, Catullus’s sympathies turn toward Lesbia. He feels sorry for the bird at first, but then he gets angry at the bird because it caused Lesbia pain when it died. The poem struck me as very sweet and passionate. Catullus’s love for Lesbia can be seen in everything and anything, because it is that strong (until it fades in his later poems).

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