Hate and Love (Translation of Catullus 85)

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Gaius Valerius Catullus

The following poem is a translation of a poem written in Latin by the ancient Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus (ca. 84 – ca. 54 BCE). The poem was originally untitled, but is commonly referred to as Catullus 85. I was looking for a good translation of this poem for Go Dog Go Cafe‘s current National/Global Poetry Writing Month festivities, but wasn’t able to find one I was fully satisfied with, so I translated it myself and was rather pleased with how it turned out.

The original Latin text reads:

ōdī et amō. quārē id faciam, fortasse requīris.
nescio, sed fierī sentiō et excrucior.

This is my translation:

And while I hate, I love.
You might ask why I do this.
I don’t know,
But I feel it
And I am tormented.

My eleventh poem for National Poetry Writing Month.

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This translation was originally posted on the Go Dog Go Cafe

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