Happier Transports To Be:
Catullus' Poem 4:Phaselus Ille.
Classics Ireland, 13.
The poeta doctus Catullus is, on the face of it, omnipresent in his poetry, often by name. The reader imagines she knows Catullus, but who does she know? In the end, miser or pessimus poeta, all that remains of Catullus in his poetry. Few figures in the ancient world are as perplexing. His poems require an effort of interpretation from the reader their brevity belies. For instance, Catullus' Poem 4 is always a source of puzzlement - to me anyway. Is it autobiographical? Is the yacht real? How significant is the epic voyage it describes? The answers might be: Does it matter? You cannot be serious. Significant. Poem 4 is the focus of my remarks here. However, the poems of the first eleven not associated with Lesbia, that is, Poems 4, 6, 9, and 10 will make an apperance. To the best of my knowledge these poems have not been treated of together with one another and separate from the other poems about Lesbia in the first eleven.
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