The Books of Catullus
Gaius Valerius Catullus
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From the publisher
The Books of Catullus is the first full English translation to take the Roman poet at his word. Simon Smith's versions are scholarly yet eccentric, mapping theme and register to contemporary equivalents (such as poem 16, which echoes Frank O'Hara). He divides Catullus's complete verses into three `books', the form in which it is thought the poems were originally received. `Smith gets the all-important rhythm of Catullus, whose meters, like all else about this poet, are deceptively complex', writes Vincent Katz. `He achieves a delicious frisson again and again by fusing the classical and the contemporary. The reader is repeatedly pleasured by unexpected felicities.' (Peter Hughes)