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Main  ::  Translations - all  ::  Interpretation of Catullus 8 (Carmen 8)

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Posted on Wed Jan 12, 2005 09:35:36  
Help me please with this interpretation.
Posted at Fri Dec 10, 2004 21:57:30  Quote
Which interpretation?
Here's a translation I cooked up a few months ago. I try and preserve the original meaning (with footnotes if necessary) and retain some sense of lyricism, if thats a word.

Wretched Catullus, cease this folly,
And write off that; which is no more.
Once suns shone bright on you,
When often you went where your sweetheart
Led, loved as none will ever again be loved.
There many a merry moment passed,
Which you desired, nor did she not desire.
Truly the suns shone bright on you.
Now she does no longer desire, neither should you.
Nor should you follow she who flees, nor live
In misery. But, firm in mind and heart, endure.
Farewell now sweetheart, Catullus stands fast.
You he won’t desire, nor, unwanted, court.
Yet you will suffer torments, when by no one sought.
Alas, fallen, what life awaits you now?
Who will visit you? Who will see you pretty?
Whom will you love? Who will talk to you?
Whom will you kiss? Whose lips will you bite?
Yet you, Catullus, resolute, stand fast.

Does that help?
Non cogito ergo non sumus.
Posted at Wed Jun 06, 2007 19:23:48  Quote
At the age of 82 I have returned to my beloved classics that I left in 1943, when, unable to go to Cambridge on my scholarship I had to serve 4 years in the army. I then took up music and have had a good career as a conductor and broadcaster on radio and TV. The discipline of writing singable opera libretti. led me to apply it to translations keeping to the original metre in each poem. Here is my version of 8.

Give up, Catullus, wretched man, and end this farce,
For what you see is dead, it’s over, clear your mind.
Remember when each sunlit day became life’s dream,
You used to follow ev’rywhere that girl would lead,
The love that once you felt will never more be matched -
The many pleasures that you craved she always gave.
Remember when each sunlit day became life’s dream?
But now she scorns those joys, and helpless so must you.
If she avoids you, don’t give chase, your pain must end,
Be firm and harden ev’ry thought, just stand your ground.

It’s over, wench. Be sure Catullus now stands firm,
No longer wants you, uninvited will not call.
But you will feel such pain, when no-one seeks your love.
You slag, I curse you. Now what sort of life’s your fate?
Who now will come to call ? Who now admire your looks?
Whose mouth is yours to kiss? whose lips to feel your bite?
But you, Catullus, still hold firm and stand your ground

Bernard Keeffe in London UK
Posted at Mon Jul 30, 2007 23:00:00  Quote
Who now will come to call ? Who now admire your looks?
Whose mouth is yours to kiss? whose lips to feel your bite?

Bernard Keeffe in London UK

Well, first of all, you only translated four of the questions. Where are "Who will you love?" and "Whose will you be?" (or "whose will you said to be?" etc etc, depending on the translator)? I know that translators can add their own touches, but leaving out big parts like this seems a little eccesive to me.

And to K.C.:

"Who will talk to you?" isn't a correct translation - "dir" might be "to say" (and anyway is not to talk) but still, there the meaning is: Whose will they say you are?

Hope I was helpful. Oh and, on another note, I love how you kept the metric system intact, Bernard.

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