It may have been a female genital because catullus

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represent a female genital. It may have been a female genital because Catullus states that the girl was accustomed to hold the bird in her lap because it would not move itself from there and that bird knew his mistress better than a girl know her mother . However the bird can also be seen as a male genital. Catullus alludes to this in both poems when he describes the bird as provoking sharp nibbles and chirping. The ambiguity of the bird is critical to the character analysis of Lesbia. Either interpretation of the bird , whether it is a male or female genital, gives the reader a negative view of Lesbia; to the reader in the end she is always “the bad guy” for being selfish and torturing Catullus.
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The ambiguity in carmina 2 and 3 is essential to how the reader analyzes the relationship between Catullus and Lesbia. The use by Catullus of the bird as a symbol for a male or female genital allows him to disguise what he is truly trying to communicate about the way he feels towards his relationship with Lesbia and maybe even his deep feeling toward Lesbia. Catullus’ intentions in making both poems so opaque may have been to demonstrate his own confusing how his treatment by Lesbia or of his feeling toward her. It also may be that he wanted to gain the reader’s empathy because of how he is used and not really loved by Lesbia. The double-entendre in carmina 2 and 3 express the shame that Catullus has in being used and also allows the reader to view Lesbia from Catullus’ prospective. "Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words." By Paul Engle
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