Six poems of Catullus, homophonically translated by Celia and Louis Zukofsky
Six poems of Catullus, homophonically translated by Celia and Louis Zukofsky stories
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# 2 and 2A: > Sparrow, my girl's pleasure, delight of my girl,
Source: MilkbottleF https://www.reddit.com/r/...

Six poems of Catullus, homophonically translated by Celia and Louis Zukofsky

by MilkbottleF

# 2 and 2A:

> Sparrow, my girl's pleasure, delight of my girl,

> a thing to delude her, her secret darling

> whom she offers her fingernail to peck at,

> teasing unremittingly your sharp bite,

> when desire overcomes her, shining with love

> my dear, I do not know what longing takes her,

> I think, it is the crest of passion quieted

> gives way to this small solace against sorrow,

> could I but lose myself with you as she does,

> breathe with a light heart, be rid of these cares!

>

> And for this I am grateful, as rumor had

> it the quick girl was to the golden apple

> that swiftly lowered her girdle long tied.

# 3:

> Lament, o graces of Venus, and Cupids,

> and cry out loud, men beloved by Her graces.

> Pass here, it's dead, meant so much to my girl, the

> sparrow, the jewel that delighted my girl,

> that lovable in her eyes she loved them less:

> like honey so sweet he was sure to know her,

> with her ever as a girl's with her mother;

> not seizing a moment to stray from her lap,

> silly crazy to hop up here and down there,

> one endless solo to his only goddess.

> Who now? it's hard to walk through tenebrous flume

> down there, where it is granted not one comes back.

> On you be the curse of the blind and dead shade

> Orcus, hell that destroys all beautiful things:

> so you stole my beautiful sparrow from me.

> Why pick evil? why my little fool sparrow?

> It's your doing--my girl's own, darling's sweet

> excellent eyes a little swollen and red.

# 8:

> Miss her, Catullus? don't be so inept to rail

> at what you see perish when perished is the case.

> Full, sure once, candid the sunny days glowed, solace,

> when you went about it as your girl would have it.

> you loved her as no one else shall ever be loved.

> Billowed in tumultuous joys and affianced,

> why you would but will it, and your girl would have it.

> Full, sure, very candid the sun's rays glowed solace.

> Now she won't love you: you, too, don't be weak, tense, null,

> squirming after she runs off to miss her for life.

> Said as if you meant it: obstinate, obdurate.

> Vale! puling girl. I'm Catullus, obdurate,

> I don't require it and don't beg uninvited:

> won't you be doleful when no one, no one! begs you,

> scalded, every night. Why do you want to live now?

> Now who will be with you? Who'll see that you're lovely?

> Whom will you love now and who will say that you're his?

> Whom will you kiss? Whose morsel of lips will you bite?

> But you, Catullus, your destiny's obdurate.

# 16:

> Piping, beaus, I'll go whoosh and I'll rumble you

> pathic Aurelius and catamount Furius,

> who mix my versicles with your poor tasties—

> the sound is a mollycoddle's, I'm not up

> to par for chasteness. But the pious poet

> is chaste, his versicles not nailed to his need,

> quick to themselves with no lack of decorum,

> if the sound models not quite pure for pudency

> what incitement it carries passes into

> now I won't say hairless boys', but such hoary

> necks as endure not quite up to feel lumbar.

> Milling thousands of kisses are base or make

> me out some mare of a male—you impute that?

> Piping, beaus, I'll go whoosh and I'll rumble you.

# 51:

> He'll hie me, par is he? the God divide her,

> he'll hie, see fastest, superior deity,

> quiz—sitting adverse identity—mate, in-

> spect it and audit

> you'll care ridden then, misery hold omens,

> air rip the senses from me; now you smile to

> me—Lesbia's aspect—no life is to spare me

> [voice hoarse in a throat]

> linked tongue set torpid, tenuous support a-

> flame a day mown down, sound tone sopped up in its

> tinkling, in ears hearing, twin eyes tug under

> luminous-a night.

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