This constitutes a more literal interpretation of

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black and white”. This constitutes a more literal interpretation of what Catullus is trying to say about the girl. The reader understands the simplicity of the poem; there was a girl that had a bird, which she was fond of, and when it died, it left the girl heartbroken, afterwards she falls in love with the man, who is there to consolidate her lament. Catullus gives an outstanding speech in honor of the dead bird , cursing Orcus for being so cruel and bring this anguish upon his Lesbia, «passer, deliciae meae puellae, quem plus illa oculis suis amabat. Nam mellitus erat suamque norat ipsam tam bene quam puella matrem » (“The small bird of my darling girl has died, whom she used to love more than her eyes. For if the bird was as sweet as honey and it had known its mistress as well as the girl knew her mother”Cat.3.4-7). Catullus’ eulogy to his advantage pleases Lesbia; she then turns to him in search of consolidation. Catullus in his envy of the bird’s intimacy with Lesbia says « Credo ut tum gravis acquiescat ardor; tecum ludere sicut ipsa possem et tristis animi levare curas! » (“I hope that the severe fire then finds rest; if only I could play with you just as she herself and lighten the sad worries of the mind!” Cat.2.8-10 ). Looking at the poem in this literal meaning of a “bird” makes it seem asinine that Catullus would envy a bird for spending so much time with his girl and despise it for having caused the girl such affliction. However Catullus’ poems were not just simply “black and white”, he wrote his poems so that they had a deeper meaning which could only be found if the reader looked closely and read “between the lines”. Catullus was a complex poet which is why
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