Miser Catulle, desinas ineptire,
et quod uides perisse perditum ducas.
fulsere quondam candidi tibi soles,
cum uentitabas quo puella ducebat
amata nobis quantum amabitur nulla.
ibi illa multa cum iocosa fiebant,
quae tu uolebas nec puella nolebat,
fulsere uere candidi tibi soles.
nunc iam illa non uult: tu quoque impote<ns noli>,
nec quae fugit sectare, nec miser uiue,
sed obstinata mente perfer, obdura.
uale puella, iam Catullus obdurat,
nec te requiret nec rogabit inuitam.
at tu dolebis, cum rogaberis nulla.
scelesta, uae te, quae tibi manet uita?
quis nunc te adibit? cui uideberis bella?
quem nunc amabis? cuius esse diceris?
quem basiabis? cui labella mordebis?
at tu, Catulle, destinatus obdura.


Discussion Questions


  • Catullus addresses himself as miser. What is the emotional effect of the word here? How does it relate to the inappropriateness of his behaviour?
  • Discuss the effect caused by changing person in this poem. Who is in the 'secofnd person' or the 'third'? Are these positions purely static?
  • Discuss the ways in which Catullus uses and reuses similar vocabulary throughout this poem. What is its effect in linguistic, structural, and emotive aspects?
  • How does the emotional tone of the poem change? Linguistically and rhetorically how does Catullus achieve that change?
  • How has Catullus' position altered between line 1 and line 19?
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