The Relevance Of The Ancients: The Case Of Catullus And His Poetry

1243 words - 5 pages

One kind of poetry existed from very long time ago. At the beginning, in preliterate societies in which period there was no sophisticated writing system, poetry existed in oral form, and people used poetry in oral form to record or to do the storytelling to the next generation (Poetry.org. website. 2005) Therefore, it can be said that there is no clear evidence that shows from when one kind of poetry started to exist. Although it is clear that human in early days had one kind of poetry. The writing system appeared in the sophisticated society, such as Mesopotamian society, Egyptian society, Aegean society as I learned from the class lecture. A poetry which was recorded in the writing style can be seen from such sophisticated period. During such sophisticated period, epic which is a long poem was the mainstream. Epic always described the heroic character and his adventure in narrative style, the style that poet tells a story in his poetry. The famous poem "The epic of Gilgamesh" was recorded on the clay tablet in Mesopotamian society and later in early Greece, Homeric epics "Iliad" and "Odyssey" were created, and it had an influence on later poetry. The influence of the Greek can be seen in the works of the Ennius who was called the father of Roman poetry (Cunningham S. Lawrence and Reich J. John P331). Catullus was a poet in the Rome who lived in the same period as Cicero, and both of them had great contribution to literary development in that period.
Catullus was known for his poetry in which he expressed the emotion of love for a woman whose name was Lesbia. According to the website Poetry foundation, his poetry was influenced by the learned and self-conscious style of Hellenistic poetry. However, Catullus did not just imitate the Hellenistic poetry, but he created his new poetry style. He adopted the Hellenistic style into Roman love poetry and expanded the genre of love poetry. A lot of his short poetry described the relationship between Catullus and Lesbia, and the change of Catullus`s emotion toward Lesbia (Cunningham S. Lawrence and Reich J. John P331.) At the beginning of the series of poem, his had the only emotion of deep love for Lesbia. However, after Lesbia hated him, his emotion toward Lesbia started to change into bitterness and hatred gradually. In the textbook Culture & Value ~ a survey of the humanities ~, only poem5, poem87, poem75, poem58, and are shown. I thought when Catullus wrote poem5, he and Lesbia`s relation had just began. Within the poem5, Catullus`s deep love can be seen from the repetition of the word such as “love”, and “kiss”. On the other hand, I felt that poem87, poem75, and poem58 were composed after Lesbia had lost the interest in Catullus. There are expressions such as “loved by”, and “still to love”, so these poems seems like the works Catullus composed after he had parted from Lesbia.
In each of his poems, the style which is used in modern poetry such as “The Road not Taken” created by Robert Forst can...

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