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O res ridicula!
Nihil durare potest tempore perpetuo.
Cum bene Sol nituit, redditur Oceano.
Decrescit Phoebe, quam modo plena fuit,
Venerum feritas saepe fit aura levia.
Tempus amoris cubiculum non est…
nulla est fides,
perfida omnia sunt.
O vos brutos,
That is utterly ridiculous.
Nothing can endure throughout time everlastingly.
Once the sun has shone brightly, it sets in the Ocean.
The moon wanes, how full it was a short while ago,
Love’s tempest often becomes a gentle breeze.
The time for love is not in the bedroom…
Because the lamp has been taken away
there is no trust,
everything is treacherous.
O, you are dolts,
you are stupid,
you are so dull!
– Gaius Valerius Catullus, Carmina (ca. 55 BCE).
Listen to Carl Orff’s setting of texts from poems of Catullus’s Lesbia cycle in the “Praelusio” section of Carmina Catulli (1942):
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Number of people who attended the World Grits Festival, held in St. George, South Carolina, last spring:
The brown bears of Greece continued chewing through telephone poles.
In Peru, a 51-year-old activist became the first former sex worker to run for the national legislature. “I’m going to put order,” she said, “in that big brothel which is Congress.”
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“Civilization masks us with a screen, from ourselves and from one another, with thin depth of unreality. We habitually live — do we not? — in a world self-created, half established, of false values arbitrarily upheld, largely inspired by misconception, misapprehension, wrong perspective, and defective proportion, misapplication.”