The Poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus/85

Text & Translation edit

Line Latin Text English Translation
1 Odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris? I hate and I love. How do I do that, perhaps you ask?
2 nescio. sed fieri sentio et excrucior. I don't know. But I feel it is happening and I am tormented.

Connotations of the Text edit

In this, one of Catullus's most famous and emotional poems, he talks about the contrasting feelings of love that are tormenting him.

Line 1 edit

  • odi et amo - I hate and I love

This reveals the stark contrast in his relationship. The emphatic position of odi makes it stand out to the reader.

Line 2 edit

  • excrucior - i am tortured; tormented

This has various meanings and we can see the English derivative of it - excruciating. In fact the word is derived from the Latin crux meaning cross, and ex which means from, out of. Literally it means a cross out of and came to mean crucify - the idea of pulling a person into the shape of a cross for torture.

  • fieri - it is done to me

This is the passive of the verb to do. This means done to me and presents the idea of the loss of control in his life, and more importantly the relationship.

Vocabulary edit

Line 1 edit

  • odi, odisse, osus sum - dislike intensely; hate
  • requiro, -ere, requisi(v)i, requisitum - ask; enquire after

Line 2 edit

  • fio, fieri, factus sum - (pass. of facio) to be made; become; happen
  • excrucio, -are, -avi, -atum - torture; distress; crucify

External Links edit

Catullus 85 A Translation of Catullus 85

Catullus 85 Another Translation of Catullus 85