Saturday, February 20, 2010

Odi et amo

Odi et amo. I hate and I love.

If you haven't read Catullus in the original Latin before, you should. At least, you should read this little couplet he penned back when time was BC. So many penned isn't the most accurate of words...anyway. It's a great little poem.

"Odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris?
nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior."

It's well-constructed, is simple yet complex. Seriously. It's very common, actually. A well-known piece of his work. It means, "I hate and I love. Perhaps you ask, why I do it? I don't know, but I feel it happening and it is excruciating to me." (Not all of that is an exact translation over, but that's it, basically.)

Now, Catullus wrote this to his girlfriend Lesbia. I am writing this to my computer. Specifically, to the internet.

Internet, how I love and hate thee! Why do you distract me when I should be busy? Why do you allow me to access such web sites as,,, all of my email accounts, and youtube, when I should be writing, cleaning, and living in the real world? Why do I feel my addiction? Perhaps I should have given you up for Lent, after all!

Except, dear internet, that you connect me to everyone; you keep me up to date on the news (and on my TV shows); you allow me to write alongside others.

Internet, I love and hate you!


Stephanie Thornton said...

Catallus has some great stuff, including some rather racy poems. *G* I've always regretted not learning Latin. I wanted to take it in high school, but it wasn't offered. I've gleaned bits and pieces, but to be fluent would be awesome!

Just Another Sarah said...

Oh, I love Latin. Started taking it in 9th grade after I saw my brother studying for it...and studied it for the next eight years. Now, I still try to read it and I tutor a boy in it. I can't say I'm fluent even after all that, but I can say that I love it, love it, love it!

Amalia T. said...

I'm so totally jealous of your fluency-- And I wouldn't even be as good at it as I am now, if it hadn't been for our Friday translation dates! I wish we were in the same city and we could have weekly meet ups!

Just Another Sarah said...

Amalia, I totally wish we were, too! I miss our Friday meetings! (/complaint sessions...from time to time.) :) And you do really well with it! Really!

Amalia T. said...

I've forgotten more than I ever learned I think :) I am JUST proficient enough to conjugate the simplest of sentences for my books in situations of absolute necessity. Provided I have all my books laid out in front of me :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Now that was a great little essay. I loved reading the Latin and seeing how you gave it a contemporary twist.
I've forgotten most all the Latin I learned. But I sure remember my high school teacher who wore her hair in a bun and once spent most of a class period telling us how we should never leave the scene of an accident without being sure we had all our parts. It seems she had witnessed an accident on the way to work in which someone's finger was left behind. That kind of lesson sticks with you, you know?

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I know how you feel. But I got nothing but love for you over at my blog today. Check it out. ;)

Karen said...

Amen, sister!

Just Another Sarah said...

Tricia: Thanks so much! Yeah, that is definitely a lesson that would stay with you. My Latin teachers never talked about that, thank goodness, or else I probably wouldn't be able to concentrate on anything else for the rest of the class period!

Karen Amanda Hooper: Aw! You filled me with warm fuzzies, today!

Karen: Welcome aboard! :D

Jon Paul said...

"I know exactly what you mean," he says as he adds a comment to your blog.