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The Poems of Catullus
An Annotated Translation

$27.99 (P)

  • Date Published: June 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107682139

$ 27.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • The Roman poet Catullus is one of the most popular and frequently studied ancient authors. His poems were written just over two thousand years ago during the chaotic but culturally vibrant final decades of the Republic and deal with themes of passion and grief, friendship and enmity, politics, literature and myth. This new translation, the product of a collaborative effort between a classicist and a poet, allows modern readers to experience his poems rather as his ancient Roman audience did. The poems are presented as contemporary and concise with a new energy and pace that both enhance Catullus' appeal for non-specialists and challenge specialists to consider his work from a fresh perspective. Extensive notes are provided, as well as an introduction which takes account of modern poetics and popular culture. The translation will appeal not only to classicists but also to lovers of literature in general and poetry in particular.

    • Presents a modern, accessible English language translation of a poet who is often unknown to non-classicists
    • Makes the poems appealing to anyone reading, writing, and teaching poetry, whether or not they know Latin
    • Offers a new way of thinking about Catullus' poetics based in modern popular culture
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The bawdy poet Catullus wrote in the late Roman Republic, in Latin, but he will always belong to the world at large and to the present tense - rowdy, randy, excoriating, funny, acrobatic and endlessly vernacular. He is our shameless poet of the locker-room boast and the licentious man-about-town. He sings in the gossipy, fierce voices of Eros and Id without apology, and we love him for this particular exhibition of the glory of the human spirit. Catullus is so much of the present tense that his poetry requires the fresh transfusion of re-translation on a regular basis, needs a booster shot of the vernacular to restore the rose to his cheeks. In these fine new translations, Jeffrey Thomson and Jeannine Uzzi perfectly catch the lively Catullan blend of eloquence and vulgarity. Thus, Catullus, and his poems, get to party one more time."
    Tony Hoagland, poet and writer

    "Uzzi and Thomson's American English voice erupts from Catullus' Latin and speaks directly to us, as Catullus did to his contemporaries. A literary translation (as opposed to a literal trot) of poetry of any age should be able to take its place in the contemporary poetic scene. This is what Uzzi and Thomson's translation is poised to do."
    Stanley Lombardo, University of Kansas

    "… A wonderful translation … the introduction gives an excellent handle on this poetry for a contemporary audience. I'm glad that it is there, for it makes [my work teaching Catullus] so much easier. The Eminem comparison will especially help. The role of vituperation [is laid out] quite gracefully."
    Dana Burgess, Charles E. and Margery B. Professor of Humanities, Whitman College, Washington

    'The volume will interest classicists but is directed to a general audience. … a translation that will have wide appeal to contemporary readers for its concision, frankness, and fine ear for good colloquial idioms …' translated from GNOMON

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107682139
    • length: 230 pages
    • dimensions: 198 x 130 x 5 mm
    • weight: 0.23kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    The poems

  • Author



    Jeffrey Thomson, University of Maine, Farmington
    Jeffrey Thomson is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Maine, Farmington. He is the author of four books of poems, including Birdwatching in Wartime, winner of both the 2010 Maine Book Award and the 2011 ASLE Award in Environmental Creative Writing, and Renovation. In 2012 he was the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Poetry Centre at Queen's University Belfast and in 2015 he will be the Hodgson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellow at Brown University and the C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College.

    Editor and Translator

    Jeannine Diddle Uzzi, University of Southern Maine
    Jeannine Diddle Uzzi is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Southern Maine. She is the author of Children in the Visual Arts of Imperial Rome (Cambridge University Press, 2005). Other publications include 'The power of parenthood: women and children in official Roman art' in Constructions of Childhood in Ancient Greece and Italy (2007) and 'The age of consent: children and sexuality in ancient Greece and Rome' in The Archaeology of Children: Interdisciplinary Approaches (2013).

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