Carcanet Press
Quote of the Day
If it were not for Carcanet, my library would be unbearably impoverished.
Louis de Bernieres

The Books of Catullus

Gaius Valerius Catullus

Edited by Simon Smith

Translated by Simon Smith

The Books of Catullus Cover
RRP: GBP 10.39
Available This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
eBook (PDF)
ISBN: 978 1 784105 53 2
Categories: Ancient Greek and Roman, Language, Translation
Imprint: Carcanet Classics
Published: March 2018
192 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle), Paperback
Digital access available through Exact Editions
  • Description
  • Author
  • Reviews
  • The Books of Catullus is the first full English translation to take the Roman poet at his word. Simon Smith’s versions are scholarly yet eccentric, mapping theme and register to contemporary equivalents (such as poem 16, which echoes Frank O’Hara). He divides Catullus’s complete verses into three ‘books’, the form in which it is thought the poems were originally received. ‘Smith gets the all-important rhythm of Catullus, whose meters, like all else about this poet, are deceptively complex’, writes Vincent Katz. ‘He achieves a delicious frisson again and again by fusing the classical and the contemporary. The reader is repeatedly pleasured by unexpected felicities.’ (Peter Hughes)
    Gaius Valerius Catullus
    Gaius Valerius Catullus was born in Verona, northern Italy in 84 BCE and died in Rome in 54 BCE. Little detail about his life survives. What is known is inferred from the poems or from indirect secondary sources. He was a contemporary of Cicero and Caesar, the latter a friend of ... read more
    Simon Smith
    Simon Smith has published five collections of poetry. His third collection, Mercury (Salt Publications), was longlisted for the Costa Prize in 2007. A selected poems, More Flowers Than You Could Possibly Carry, appeared from Shearsman Books in 2016, and his latest pamphlet is Salon Noir (Equipage, 2016). Simon Smith is ... read more
     'Smith manages to keep the balance between being timeless and being modern, so that these poems come to life, seem immediately relevant'
    Tina Röck, DURA
    'These new translations of Catullus reveal to us two poets at work and the correspondence between the two opens up a freshness of speech which is a delight to hear.'
    Ian Brinton, Tears in the Fence
     'Here is a poet entirely in sympathy with Catullus and concerned to represent his poems as faithfully as possible, opened to the contemporary reader.'
    Peter Riley, The Fortnightly Review
Share this...
The Carcanet Blog W.S Graham: Lives & Letters read more Vahni Capildeo: Honouring the Water Dragon: A Walk in Shiga Prefecture read more Jane Draycott: Translating 'Pearl' read more Patrick Worsnip: A Journey Through Translation read more Notes on Language and Poetry read more Gabriel Levin: By Way of a Preface read more
Arts Council Logo
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2018 Carcanet Press Ltd