Catullus I

By David Ferry b. 1924 David Ferry

To Cornelius Nepos

Who is it I should give my little book to,
So pretty in its pumice-polished covers?

Cornelius, I’ll give my book to you:
Because you used to think my nothings somethings,

At the time when you were the first in Italy
To dare to write our whole long history,

Three volumes, under the sign of Jupiter,
Heroically achieved; so take this little

Book of mine for what it’s worth; whatever;
And oh, patroness Virgin, grant that it shall

Live and survive beyond the century.

Source: Poetry (January 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2012
 David  Ferry


David Ferry is an acclaimed American poet and translator. Ferry’s translations, which include some of the world's major works of poetry including The Odes of Horace, and both The Eclogues and Georgics of Virgil, are known for their fluency and grace. In addition to his lauded translations, Ferry is also a prize-winning poet in his own right. His poetic works include Dwelling Places (1993) and Of No Country I Know: New and . . .

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Couplet, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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