For some reason I was thinking of my high school Latin class today and I just remembered the poet Catullus; here’s one of his poems (in original Latin and translated…)
*If you want to read the original Latin, V’s are W’s, so veni, vidi, vici is actually Weni, Widi, Wici; C’s are pronounced as K’s, so the same example: Weni, Widi, Wici is read as WHEN-EE, WEE-DEE, WEE-KEY (like birthday CAKE, not birthday SAKE… oh Latin teacher, how I don’t miss you). I won’t discuss diphthongs…*
“Love is All”
Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque snum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis.
Soles occidere et redire possunt:
nobis, cum semel occidit brevis lux,
nox est perpetua una dormienda.
Da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum
dein, cum milia multa fecerimus,
conturabimus illa, ne sciamus,
aut ne quis malus invidere possit,
cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.
<I just found a reading of the poem: http://www.rhapsodes.fll.vt.edu/Catullus/catullus.htm>
Do you notice any familiar words?
My Latin translating isn’t spot on, or else I would have given you mine… Here’s a translation that has come up a few times:
Let us live, my Lesbia, and love, and value at
one farthing all the talk of crabbed old men.
Suns may set and rise again. For us, when the
short light has once set, remains to be slept and the sleep
of one unbroken night.
Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred, then
another thousand, then a second hundred, then yet
another thousand, then a hundred. Then, when we
have made up many thousands, we will confuse our
counting, that we may not know the reckoning, nor
any malicious person blight them with evil eye, when
he knows that our kisses are so many.
Remember, my friends, it is a translation, and how sad it is that language fails emotion…
What do you think? Share your thoughts!