Friday, March 11, 2011
THOUGHTS ON MARTIAL AND CATULLUS' POETRY [PLEASE READ]
You will have to forgive Martial and Catullus, who tended to be extremely lewd and disgusting, depending on their subject and mood, I suppose. These are not poems for children, as Catullus says, or for people easily offended. Perhaps we should think of these two Romans, in particular, as an ancient form of our modern stand-up comics. In any case, these two writers have long been dead and gone, but their work survives, albeit in a crueler and less charming form of literature than todays. These are not my words or thoughts, but those of Martial and Catullus, or perhaps they are poetic personae created by these poets themselves, whose purpose was to represent the unforgiving, in-your-face and staunchly realistic world they lived in. This is probably helpful to keep in mind when reading Martial and Catullus' less subtle poetry, at least for me, I can say.