Catullus: Poem 34 "Promises, Promises" (From Latin)

Poem 34: Promises, Promises
By Catullus
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click to hear me recite the original Latin

My girl says there's no one she'd rather wed
    Than me. "Not even Jupiter"
Says she. The things a woman says in bed
    To please her lover are secure
As any contract scribbled out on air.  
Or you could find a sea, and write it there.  

The Original:

Nūllī sē dīcit mulier mea nūbere mālle 
 quam mihi, nōn sī sē Iuppiter ipse petat. 
Dīcit: sed mulier cupidō quod dīcit amantī, 
 in ventō et rapidā scrībere oportet aquā 


  1. I know a lady in Venice would have walked barefoot
    to Palestine for a touch of his nether lip. :-) --W.S.--Shakespeare

  2. Excellent, how you retain the rhythm and flow. Not sure how you manage it.

    I really like this part of the poem, for some reason:

    Without resistance He had now renounced,
    as borrowed things left merely in his trust,
    omnipotence and powers of wonderwork,
    and was like other mortals now, like us.

    Horizons of the night now seemed the brink
    of devastation and the ends of time.
    The universe was voided of all things
    and only in that garden life still climbed.

    And gazing back up into the black chasm,
    the space with neither end nor origin,...............