The most popular of the Roman poets, Catullus is known for the accessibility of his witty and erotic love poems. In this book Charles Martin, himself a poet, offers a deeper reading of Catullus, revealing the art and intelligence behind the seemingly spontaneous verse. Martin considers Catullus's life, habits of composition, and the circumstances in which he worked. He places him among the modernists of his age, who created a new ironic and subjective poetics, and he shows the affinity between Catullus and the modernists of our own age. Martin offers original interpretations of Catullus's poems, viewing the love poems to "Lesbia" as a unified, artfully arranged poetic sequence, and the short poems, often dismissed as unworthy of serious critical attention, as the irreverent products of a sophisticated poetic innovator. Unlike Horace, Virgil, and Ovid, Catullus did not influence our literary culture until the beginning of the modern era, but he is now regarded as a poet who speaks to our age with a singular directness. Pointing to Catullus's self-awareness, playfulness, and comic invention and to the elaborate complexity of his experiments in poetic form, Martin gives both the scholar and the general reader a fresh appreciation of his poetic art.
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Aegeus Aemilius Alexandrian Ameana Ariadne arranged Attis audience beginning Bithynia Book of Catullus bride brother Caecilius Caesar Callimachus Calvus Catullan Catullus describes Catullus offers chiastic Cicero Clodia compartments contemporary convergence critics Cybele darling death dialogue dinner elegiac epic erotic exchange experience Ezra Pound Fabullus feast Flavius Furius and Aurelius Gaius Memmius gift goddess gods Greek hendecasyllabic verses Horace husband important invitation Ipsitilla Juventius kisses Laevius Lesbia lines literary lover lyric Mamurra marriage Memmius meter mistress modern modernists mortal napkin neoterics Nepos Ortalus passion past Peleus Peleus and Thetis Philodemus play playfulness Poem 12 poem 64 poem-as-invitation poem's poems of Catullus poet poet's poetic polymetric polymetric poems pseudonym Publius Clodius Pulcher puella Pyrrha readers recipient relationship Roman Rome scene seems sequence sexual sparrow thematic theme Theseus Thetis threat tion traditional transformed translation tullus Verona verse Wallace Stevens wedding woman words writing young