Catullus 16 – The Filthiest Expression Ever Written in Latin

Today I read a poem that somehow moved me. The poem itself is not very good but it does a very good job at capturing the anger and the desperation of a mocked soul, of someone who has suffered greatly for following his passions by those who do not understand them.

The most peculiar aspect about the poem is that it was never translated from its original Latin until almost 2000 years later. It was thought to be so vulgar and offensive that no one dared attempt translate it to any other language. The first line of the poem has been declared one of the most vulgar and filthiest lines ever written in Latin.

The poem, though very uncivil and indecent for the time it was written, does not seem completely out of place once read completely. I felt unreservedly moved by the feelings of anger and frustration portrayed by Catullus, author of the poem. I can completely relate to him for I, too, have felt the same way towards other people, especially when I so strongly hold on to my morals and others show utter indifference to the thing I most hold dear.

This is the literal English translation of Catullus 16:


I will sodomize you and face-fuck you,

Cocksucker Aurelius and bottom-man Furius,

You who think that I’m a pussy

Because of my delicate verses.

It’s right for the devoted poet

To be chaste himself, but it’s not

Necessary for his verses to be so.

Verses which then have taste and charm,

If they are delicate and sexy,

And when they can incite an itch,

And I don’t mean for boys, but in

Those hairy old men who can’t get their dicks up.

You, because you have read of my thousand kisses,

You think I’m a pussy?

I will sodomize you and face-fuck you.


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