Saturday, August 29, 2009

Roman Poetry: Not For Pussies

While looking up Pompeii graffiti online, I found out about a poem called "Catullus 16," written by, um, Catullus. According to Wikipedia, it was so dirty that it wasn't translated until the late 20th century. How dirty can this Roman poem be? Observe:

"I'm gonna fuck you guys up the ass and shove my cock down your throats,
yes, you, Aurelius--you fucking cocksucker--and you too, Furius, you faggot!
Just because my verses are tender doesn't mean
that I've gone all soft. Sure, a poet should focus
on writing poetry and not on sex; but does that
mean they can't write about sex? If a poem is
in good taste, well-written and erotic,
it can give massive boners to hairy old men,
not just to horny teenagers. You think I'm a sissy
just because I write about thousands of kisses?
I'm gonna fuck you guys up the ass and shove my cock down your throats!"

If you're wondering who the unfortunate Aurelius and Furius are, Wikipedia also offers the following handy info: "Apparently, Furius and Aurelius find Catullus's verses to be mollici (soft, perhaps "wussy" in modern slang). Catullus responds with intense abuse and invective." Obviously, these two had no idea who they were fucking with. Also, I am very interested in reading poetry with the power to "give massive boners to hairy old men." If anyone can direct me to these poems, please don't hesitate to e-mail that shit to me ASAP.

After reading this, I have also decided that I will never, ever judge another person for writing about "thousands of kisses" ever again. I don't think I'm strong enough to withstand this kind of verbal abuse.

1 comment:

Scott Douglas said...

John Wilmot's poetry could be pretty obscene for the time too.