Catullus Poems

Poem 51
This is the first poem. Catullus sees Lesbia for the first time and is overcome by lust and longing for her. He is jealous of the man she is talking to who he feels ought to be a god.

Poem 2
This is where the sparrow is introduced. The sparrow is the beloved pet bird of Lesbia. Lesbia seems to devote all her love and attention to the Sparrow and Catullus wishes he could join and play with them.

Poem 3
This poem deals with the tragic death of the sparrow and Catullus’ way of mourning. Catullus’ relates Lesbia and the Sparrow’s relationship to be like the bond of a mother and a daughter. He calls upon Cupid and Venus to mourn with him; He wants to use this opportunity to earn her love

Poem 5
This is where Catullus tells Lesbia to drop everything and be with him truly. He asks her to give him a thousand kisses and that they will lie about the number of kisses so other men don’t get jealous.

Poem 7
This is where Catullus states that no amount of kisses from Lesbia will ever be enough (as many as there are stars in the sky)

Poem 86
This is the poem where Quintia is mentioned. Catullus claims that not EVERYTHING about Quintia is beautiful and that she actually has a few flaws. He says Quintia can’t possibly be that beautiful because Lesbia has stolen all the beauty from other women.

Poem 43
This is where Catullus mentions Lesbia’s friend from Formiae, the province where Lesbia comes from. Catullus lists 6 things that are distasteful about this friend (small nose, little black eyes, etc.). He believes people of this generation are tasteless

Poem 8
This is the “breakup poem”. Catullus is trying to convince himself to get over Lesbia once and for all. He tries to make himself feel better by putting Lesbia down, asking things like “Who will call you pretty now?”, etc.

Poem 109
This is where Catullus calls upon the Gods to make sure that Lesbia is sincere. He prays that the love between Lesbia and himself is everlasting

Poem 70
This is where Catullus shows his skepticism about Lesbia’s assurances that she only loves him. She says that she would choose him over a god like Jupiter, but Catullus states that women often lie and change their mind.

Poem 72
This is where Catullus finally begins to see the truth and comes to terms with the fact that Lesbia has been lying to him. He says that he loves her like a father loves his sons but that she has become cheaper to him and that her unjust ways have made him lose his respect for her.

Poem 85
This is where Catullus struggles with his conflicting emotions. He hates that he loves Lesbia because he knows she is not good for him (toxic). He feels that these feelings are torturing him.

Poem 87
This is where he claims that he played the bigger role in this relationship. He claims that no other women will ever be loved like he loved Lesbia. He says that love on his side of the ‘ship remained steadfast.

Poem 11
This is the final poem. Catullus is set to leave on an adventure with his friends and comes to the conclusion that his and Lesbia’s love came to such a bitter end because of her.