Friday, April 25, 2008

Catullus Journal #3

Due Monday 5/5/08
Remember to do Journal #2 before you do this one...

Suffenus iste, Vare, quem probe nostri,
homo est venustus et dicax et urbanus,
idemque longe plurimos facit versus.
Puto esse ego illi milia aut decem aut plura
perscripta, nec sic ut fit in palimpsesto
relata: cartae regiae, novi libri,
novi umbilici, lora rubra, membranae,
derecta plumbo et pumice omnia aequata.
Haec cum legas tu, bellus ille et urbanus
suffenus unus caprimulgus aut fossor
rursus videtur: tantum abhorret ac mutat.
Hoc quid putemus esse? Qui modo scurra
aut si quid hac re scitius videbatur,
idem infaceto est infacetior rure,
simul poemata attigit, neque idem umquam
aeque est beatus ac poema cum scribit:
tam gaudet in se tamque se ipse miratur.
Nimirum idem omnes fallimur, neque est quisquam
quem non in aliqua re videre Suffenum
possis. Suus cuique attributus est error;
sed non videmus manticae quod tergo est.

In poem 22, Catullus describes both the poet Suffenus and the poetry that Suffenus writes. In a short essay, contrast the effect that Suffenus' poems have on his audience with the effect they have on Suffenus himself. Refer specifically to the Latin throughout the passage to support the points you make in your essay.


Annie A said...

Annie Alexandrian
May 4 2008

Catullus Journal #3

Suffenius’s poems do not leave a lasting, good impact on those who read it. This is shown in the lines “nec sic ut fit in palimpeto relata” (they have not been rewritten onto new manuscript). This shows that although Catullus is seen as urbanus (sophisticated), he does not transcend into poetry as successfully. The audience also considers him to be a
caprimaulgus aut fossar” (a goat milker or ditch digger), which basically means that he appears to be a man of modest education and little stature. He seems to contradict himself in his poetry. The terrible poetry he writes is very damaging to his appearance. Although Catullus’s poetry proves to detrimental, he truly finds joy in it. In the line “simul poemata attigit, reque idem umquam aeque est beatus ac poema cum scribit” (as soon as he touches poetry, the same person is not ever as equally happy as when he writes poetry). Suffenius feels most happy and at peace when writing poetry, even though it appears to be a flaw of his. This comes to prove that what may seem like trash to some people, might be a treasure to others, with his poetry seeming like nothing but trash to the those who read it, and a treasure to Suffenius.

Mpasini said...

Perhaps one of Catullus' greatest hits is the following quotation from this poem, describing Suffenus:
"bellus ille et urbanus
suffenus unus caprimulgus aut fossor
rursus videtur", or "Sometimes he looks like a ditch digger or goat whore".
In essence, Catullus talks about the fact that when one reads Suffenus' poems, they realize that he's really a peice of crap (sorry...his POEMS are crap), or as Cat puts it "duller than the dull country side", or "dem infaceto est infacetior rure." However, what Suffenus thinks about himself is a different story. Catullus says "ac poema cum scribit:
tam gaudet in se tamque se ipse miratur", or literally "when he (Suffenus) writes poetry:
he rejoices in himself and admires himself so much". My opinion is that as long as Suffenus is happy, that's all that matters...just don't read his poetry!

p-rinda said...

Journal #3
-Sorry for the lateness again..had an incredibly hectic week and weekend-

Throughout the poem, Catullus writes about Suffenus, about the realization of how bad of a poet Suffenus really is-
-more witless than the dull countryside, "idem infaceto est infacetior rure" in line 14
-merely a goatherder or ditchdigger, "caprimulgus aut fossor rursus videtur" in lines 10-11

Towards the end of the poem, Catullus writes about how people are under Suffenus' delusion. He believes that he is such a great poet, he admires himself, and the people that read his poem admire him and his work as he does.
"tam guadet in se tamque se ipse miratur. Nimirum idem omnes fallimur, neque est quisquam quem non in aliqua re videre Suffenum possis." lines 17-20.

Suffenus is happy when he writes poems, "aeque est beatus ac poema cum scribit" line 16, and that's all that should really matter. Do what makes you happy, that's what life is all about. It shouldn't matter what people think, but if they like what you do, then that's just a bonus.

Michelle said...

I definitely posted this yesterday and now it's gone... weird.

Catullus Journal #3

Sorry for not having this up sooner…

Catullus describes Suffenus as a sophisticated (urbanus) man who takes great care in writing his poetry. He puts it on new paper tied with ribbons and makes it very pleasing to look at. Suffenus is happy when he writes poetry (tam gaudet in se tamque se ipse miratur) and he is pleased with his work, but Catullus then reveals that Suffenus’ poems are terrible and he is more witless than the dull countryside (idem infaceto est infacetior rure).
Who is Catullus to judge Suffenus’ work? I agree with what everyone else has said about how it doesn’t matter what other people think just as long as you’re happy. In a perfect world we would like to hope that that’s a true statement, but the sad truth is that it’s not. Whether we admit it or not, we do care about what other people think of us. In a way this is a good thing because, for some, it forces us to push ourselves to our limits and to succeed not only in our eyes but in the eyes of another. But, for other people, it only causes us to reflect on our lives and wonder why we are not able to live up to the high expectations that are set for us. I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with all of this, but I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that while it would be nice to think that Suffenus doesn’t care about what Catullus or anyone else says about his work, chances are he probably does.
By the way, this is my favorite Catullus poem simply because of the message it conveys. It’s one of Catullus’ more insightful poems (especially the last two lines).

dodonnell said...

nice jobs all of you...and I like Mia's giving us the history of Lesbia's name!!!

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Anonymous said...

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