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Reading Catullus$
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John Godwin

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781904675631

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781904675631.001.0001

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The Poet at Work

The Poet at Work

(p.17) Chapter 2 The Poet at Work
Reading Catullus

John Godwin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the school of writing that Catullus belongs to, which can be identified as his place in Roman literature. It argues that Catullus' poetry is rooted in the Greek concept of poetic madness, a mode of writing that can be derived from sudden bursts of poetic inspiration or passion. The chapter adds that the sexual content which can be found in Catullus' poems can be attributed to his assertion of his literary independence as a poet, making it somewhat erroneous to judge how he lived his life through what he wrote in his poems.

Keywords:   poetry, poetic madness, poetic inspiration, passion, Catullus, poems

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