Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £10.89

Buy Now for £10.89

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Acerbic wit and stinging satire are contrasted with delicate sensibility and passionate desire in the work of the Latin poet Catullus. Armed with an urbane sophistication and an aristocratic circle of friends, Catullus moved about easily in the upper ranks of Roman society and was acquainted with Cicero, Caesar, and Pompey among others. His poems describe the lifestyle prevalent among his circle in the middle of the first century B.C. But it is his description of his love affair with a married woman he calls "Lesbia" which is the basis of his fame. His influence on later Latin poets and Renaissance writers was immense.

Public Domain (P)2010 Audio Connoisseur

What listeners say about Catullus: The Complete Poems

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A disappointment

This is a translation by Francis Warre Cornish, 1904. A rather important and yet omitted detail, especially that this is sold as the Audible version of "Catullus The Complete Poems" Translated by Guy Lee.

The content

As anyone with an interest in classical literature will be aware, translation matters. Although this was not what I believed I was purchasing, it was nevertheless useful as an alternate translation. I found Cornish to be clear and straightforward in his approach, aiming for clarity of meaning, however, this has come at the cost of all traces of the original meter (Or at least, there was none in this audio performance!). I found some of Cornish's choices in translation questionable, for example, in poem XI, his disregard of the use of 'comites' in relation to Furius and Aurelius which I felt resulted in the loss of much of the intrigue and mystery of this famous piece. That said, at other times I felt he had made surprisingly clear and informative interpretations. Overall it seems like his target audience was 'everyman' rather than academic. Of course, without the accompanying notes, there is no clue as to his intentions or why he made the decisions he did. For this reason, I have ended up buying a copy of the print version so that I may study it.

The Performance

The choice of Charlton Griffin was beyond abysmal. I felt that much of the spirit of Catullus has been lost as a result, not to mention the humour! Catullus was a young and passionate man with a wicked sense of humour. His passions fill the pages like a firework display in the night sky. Sadly, Griffin's serious and "old" voice had a similar effect to a thick bank of clouds on a firework display. What his dour "dirty old man" tones did to the sexually fueled poems deserves an advisory sticker or possibly a gift voucher for an hour of councilling with each purchase. Were I not already familiar with Catullus and this was my introduction, I would be wondering why people rave about him!

Overall, I really do not recommend this version unless it is free and you are already familiar with Catullus and even then reluctantly.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

good overall but intro from Wiki a bit lackluster

over all pretty good but having an introduction straight from Wikipedia is a bit underwhelming

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Coach of Alva
  • Coach of Alva
  • 03-05-20

A mature man reads a young man's poems

Catullus was a young and passionate poet. Charlton Griffin is a two-legged organ. For once, he was not the best choice for a classical poet, coming across heavy-handed and, when sex was involved, as it often was, creepy.

1 person found this helpful