Apart from pointing me to some translations of Catullus that may propel to me a new level of human feeling, this gives me much to think about. Poetry being a question of ‘speaking with full human feeling’ is already a bold idea, and a good test for meaning and authenticity in many communications (albeit not necessary for instructions on how to operate industrial machinery). Added to that is Eyres’ personal realization that to be a full-spectrum human being entails being a poet.

‘The Catullus poems I encountered in Flewett and Pantin were a revelation.  They did not just spark my love of Latin poetry; they helped open up the world of poetry and human feeling for me.  They showed me that being a poet might mean nothing more or less than speaking with full human feeling.  It would take many years before I could see that, for me at least, being a human being, in the fullest sense, might entail being a poet.’

See also the quote-mosaic review of Harry Eyres’ splendid book on the charm and continuing relevance of Horace.


Source: Harry Eyres, Horace and Me: Life Lessons from an Ancient Poet (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013), p. 55


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