The complete poetry

by Gaius Valerius Catullus

Other authorsFrank O. Copley (Translator)
Hardcover, 1957






Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press [1957]


This edition of eighty of Catullus's poems is designed for use at school and university. The Latin text (taken from the Oxford Classical Text of Catullus edited by Sir Roger Mynors) is accompanied by an introduction on the life of Catullus, and a commentary which interprets the poems in the light of the most up-to-date scholarship.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Salmondaze
Probably not for everybody (but what poetry is?), Catullus writes brilliantly of the everyday, the minor quibbles, the less profound proverbs, and sometimes even ancient (for his time even!) myth. His hit rate is extremely high, which leaves one wanting more, and in the hands of translator Frank O. Copley his poetry gets reset and re-punctuated into 20th century standards and norms. This is a great help because Catullus was immediate, of his time, and highly dialect-oriented in approach. All of this demands that he be right next to you as the reading or reciting goes.

Stand-outs in the collection include what often goes first "One" which perhaps states a poet's wish better than any other poem, and "Sixty Four" which tells the story of Theseus and Ariadne along with the prophecy of Achilles, son of Peleus. The voice and concerns of Catullus actually echo the voice of the main character in Satyricon at times and the propensities for humor that both exhibit do not escape this particular reviewer. Both books may not be the height of what literature has to offer (especially Greek) but they are indeed a lot of fun and perhaps damning portraits of a corrupt and/or corruptible society.
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LibraryThing member Unreachableshelf
Some of the most entertaining poems in the history of Rome. For the most part the translations get across the spirit of the original, although there were one or two occasions on which they were softened a little. The parallel texts are easy to follow.
LibraryThing member deliriumslibrarian
Catullus is my GBF. Even in a mediocre translation (as here), he's immediate, gossipy, irreverently alive. Anne Carson's versions in _Men in the Off Hours_ are brilliant, but this is good for getting to the language of the original. Naughty boys are fun to relax with.
LibraryThing member incunabulum really want to be careful reading through this book. As you read selected works, you begin to realize just how messed up (or freely artistic?) Roman culture was. But perhaps I'm skimming way too high? Not sure where I read it, but I think that Vladimir Nabokhov credits (or is credited) with having such writers as Catullus as the spiritual underpinning for Lolita. Time to do more learning! ;-)… (more)
LibraryThing member carlym
Many of the poems in this book are short poems about who is doing whom, who has VD, etc. While some of them are funny, it was bit like reading a gossip column about people I don't know. It was interesting to see a completely different style and tone of poetry from this time period. There are also a couple of short epic poems thrown in, which seemed to come out of nowhere and be in a completely different style. A small sampling of these poems would have been enough for me… (more)
LibraryThing member imyril
Fab old side-by-side translations of Catullus' poetry. Needless to say, the English facing pages of the really rude ones are all blank! Schoolboys - translate your own smut!
LibraryThing member shanaqui
Another library book. I remembered my old Classics teacher mentioning him, and thinking I should read his poetry, so I was pleased to grab a copy in the (new) local library. The translation seems pretty good to me, although I wish there was more by way of footnotes to explain contextual information -- when there is any.


Original language


Local notes

inscribed by translator



Other editions

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