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A Poet's Journal: May 8th, 2014

May 8th, 2014

Worry and apprehension are seated in every task we undertake, becoming a responsibility in themselves, that it is a pleasure to see falsely and have them crumble before us, finally knowing of their misguidance.  Yet it is often that this delusion comforts the appearance of judgment, leaving us open to the possibility that anything we choose will eventually become true.  Sometimes there is not enough powder in the gun and our plans do not follow through simply because of a too great apprehension of missing the mark; sometimes there is an unmistakable and deadly precision, that we are at a loss of how to describe our arriving at such an outcome.  The problem is not that worry and apprehension are inherent in the decision, it is that the decision asks us not to swerve in our judgment, whereupon worry and apprehension become the figments of our imagination.  This is the conditioned; what every fact, right or wrong, enforces us to realize everyday in our daily habits--to feel…

A New Translation of Catullus!

Here is a new translation of Catullus: please scroll down to read or visit the Society of Classical Poets by clicking on the following link: A Translation of Catullus’s ‘Ad Sirmium Insulam’ by Douglas Thornton

The important events in the life of Gaius Valerius Catullus (84-54 B.C.) are recounted through the poems he has left.  The particular poem below was written on his return from Asia Minor, where he had attempted at a public career by following Memmius, the patron of the poet Lucretius, into the province of Bithynia.  But his hopes being dashed, he took refuge after the long journey at his home in the present-day village of Sirmione, in northern Italy, on Lake Garda.

Ad Sirmium Insulam

Of the islands which in stagnant
Waters and vast seas Neptune holds,
Sirmio--the pearl of islands!--
Now my heart with you rejoices
Safe and sound, still scarce believing
Thynia and Bithynian
Fields have gone.  What more fortunate
Care, after so many struggles,
When the mind shrugs off its burden,
Dr…