Mary Beard's rather hilarious comments this week concerning Catullus' even more hilarious Carmen 16 led me to polish up my own translation. In this clever poem, Catullus heaps gender mockery upon two friends who've evidently criticized his poems for being too gay:
I'll ram my cock right up your ass,
Aurelius, you queen,
and then I'll shove it down your throat,
Furius, you filthy faggot,
since the two of you think my little verses are indecent
just because they're a little sensitive.
A dutiful poet should be restrained himself,
but his poems don't have to be:
they'll have more pizazz and humor
if they're a little delicate and indecent
and make people feel horny.
I'm not speaking to boys, but to
hairy old men who can't get it up anymore.
You've read about thousands of people getting
kissed, and you think I'm not butch enough?
I'll shove my cock up your ass
and then I'll fuck you right in the face.
Mary Beard's blog is at http://timesonline.typepad.com/dons_life/; see the entry for November 25, 2009. Catullus' poem in Latin:
Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo,
Aureli pathice et cinaede Furi,
qui me ex versiculis meis putastis,
quod sunt molliculi, parum pudicum.
Nam castum esse decet pium poetam
ipsum, versiculos nihil necesse est;
qui tum denique habent salem ac leporem,
si sunt molliculi ac parum pudici,
et quod pruriat incitare possunt,
non dico pueris, sed his pilosis
qui duros nequeunt movere lumbos.
Vos, quod milia multa basiorum
legistis, male me marem putatis?
Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo.