Catullus was born in Verona in 87 B.C. and died in Rome in 58 B.C. He had a love affair with a consul's wife, whom he calls Lesbia and whose real name may have been Clodia. He praised her pussy ("A single whiff and you'll get on your knees") and denounced his rivals for her affections ("scumbags") in immortal verse.
 

Molly Arden majored in classics at Bryn Mawr. She has worked as a librarian and arts administrator. Her translations of Catullus have appeared in Classic Literature in Translation. She lives in Ithaca, New York.

 

 

 

 

 

Improba Carmina

 

I will fuck you up the ass and in the mouth,
Aurelius you sodomized ass-licker
And Furius, you perverted cock-sucker
Who read my sensual poems and conclude
I'm too wanton. For everyone knows
It's meet and proper for a poet to be
Pure, pious, and always correct in his behavior.
But we don't expect the same of his poems.
Of mine they'll say sure, they have wit, they have charm
They're so sexy and lewd they can
Arouse I won't say boys, but these hairy
Men whose unstiff dicks wilt on the vine.
You who have kissed many thousands of mouths
Upper and nether, man and girl,
How dare you think me less than manly?
I will fuck you up the ass and in the mouth.