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

Masquerade – a tanka

Mystery abounds
Life is a masquerade ball
Disguise required
No one can know who you are
Even you’re not really sure

4/10/18

My response to Colleen’s 2018 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 79, DANCE & COMMAND #SynonymsOnly.

My tenth poem for National Poetry Writing Month.

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Tetractys for a Pyrrhonic Skeptic

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Pyrrho of Elis

The
Only
Thing I know
For certain is
That I don’t know anything for certain.

4/6/18

My ninth poem for National Poetry Writing Month.

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Wisdom and Fools

Wise men know
What they do not know
And doubt what they do know.

Fools don’t know
What they don’t know
And never doubt
That they are right.

4/6/18

My eighth poem for National Poetry Writing Month.

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Always With Me

Not a single day
Has gone by
Without me thinking of you.
Not always consciously,
Not always clearly,
The thoughts hang
Like a cloud
In the back of my mind
Behind the whirlwind
Of work and responsibility,
Seeping in around
The daily tasks
That don’t always get done,
Casting a shadow across
The random facts and trivia
And that song
That I just can’t get out
Of my head.
Lingering fog engulfing all,
Reminding me randomly
That you’re no longer here

4/6/18

My seventh poem for National Poetry Writing Month.

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Siddhartha

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Sweet Siddhartha
Pampered prince,
Living in supposed happiness
Behind the gilded gates
Of your father.
Small suspicions sprout
That the purpose of life
May not have as much to do
With fine dining and shiny rocks
As you were led to believe.

A triad of trips beyond teach
The reality and inevitability
Of old age, sickness, and death,
The pervasive suffering of humankind
Out in the world
Beyond your walls.

Escaping indulgence
In the quiet of the night,
Accepting asceticism
In search of truth
And a cure,
Sitting, studying with yogis
And begging before kings.

No less suffering,
No more satisfied.

Yet the cure for the world’s pain
Was waiting to be found
Halfway between
Asceticism and excess,
Riches and renunciation,
Under the old fig tree
Near the calm pond
Where the lotus blooms.

4/5-4/6/18

My sixth poem for National Poetry Writing Month.

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Exploration – a Tetractys

To
Explore
The spaces
Within yourself
Is an adventure that will never end.

4/4/18

My fifth poem for National Poetry Writing Month.

napo2018button2Inspired by the Daily Post’s prompt: Explore.

 

Rain – a Haiku

Darkened stormy skies
Humidity is rising
Rain is on its way

4/3/18

My fourth poem for National Poetry Writing Month.

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Life – a Haiku

The glory of life
Maturing in the sunlight
Rooted in the Earth.

4/3/18

My third poem for National Poetry Writing Month.

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In answer to Colleen’s 2018 #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 78, GROW & HONOR, #SnynonymsOnly

The Little Black Notebook

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This little black notebook
Is almost full,
Each page covered in
Black ink scrawled verses and rhymes,
Drops of blood in the margins
Mixing with the ink as it dries.

An odd mixture of cursive and print
That would make any pharmacist
Scratch his head.

Memories and emotions,
Thoughts and despair.
Ideas and experiments,
Passions and Pain.
Captured forever by
A mystic binding spell
Of all nine muses.

Like all things
This notebook has an end.
Only so many pages in its binding,
Only so many things to be written.
But for every end there is a beginning,
And a new notebook to open.

4/2/18

My second poem for National Poetry Writing Month.