I love the poetry of Catullus, since my teens taking my Latin A level. Someone suggested I write a poem about my favourite city - so I did! Almost.

To Catullus, Roman Poet, Contemporary of Julius Caesar

How shall I sing your praises, greatest City of them all?
Your warriors, your statesmen, as from History’s mists they call?
So many famous Romans, but just one alone I praise:
The riches of Rome’s Literature, in Julius Caesar’s days,

Brought forth a poet, so unlike the others of his kin:
He wrote of love, of friends, and of the pain he felt within.
Catullus, sweetest poet, though you died before your time,,
Yet still you gave so much: your life, in poetry sublime.

You loved so deeply, so intense your passion for your love
That many tiny details of her life for you did prove
An inspiration for your works, for all of us to see.
You were the first Romantic, leaving us a legacy -

Which Keats, and Byron, others, too, would treasure in their turn,
They saw your greatness, and from you they found so much to learn.
And Robbie Burns, beloved bard of Scotland’s northern clime
Knew well your works, and was inspired to follow in his time.

Recall that heartfelt ode to Lesbia’s Sparrow, which had died;
Another written for your closest friend and his new bride:
We mourned your brother’s passing as your heartbreak you did tell:
Frater, Ave Atque Vale, hail and fare thee well!

So many great men lived and died by those strong Roman walls
So much they gave to us today, we could not list them all.
But poets all, give thanks to him whose voice speaks from afar
He left a gift to all of us - Catulli Carmina.

Poetry by Marie Cadavieco The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2018-03-12 at 23:23

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