Catullus 85- Gaius Valerius Catullus

The poem I have chosen to share in honor of NaPoWriMo is by the ancient Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus (ca. 84 – ca. 54 BCE). The poem was originally untitled, but is commonly referred to as Catullus 85. I chose it because, while it is brief, it says and expresses a lot. It has stuck with me since I first read it in my High School Latin class roughly 30 years ago. The original text reads:

ōdī et amō. quārē id faciam, fortasse requīris.
nescio, sed fierī sentiō et excrucior. 

I couldn’t find a translation that I was completely satisfied with, so what follows is my own translation of the poem:

And while I hate, I love.

You might ask why I do this.

I don’t know,

But I feel it

And I am tormented.

— John W. Leys

3 thoughts on “Catullus 85- Gaius Valerius Catullus

  1. Pingback: Catullus 85- Gaius Valerius Catullus – The Militant Negro™

  2. Pingback: Hate and Love (Translation) | Darkness of His Dreams

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