Catullus 85

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Catullus 85 is a poem by the Roman poet Catullus for his mistress Lesbia.

"Odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris?
nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior."
I hate and I love. Perhaps you ask why I do this?
I do not know, but I feel it happen and I am torn apart.

Its declaration of conflicting feelings "I hate and I love" (in Latin, Odi et amo) is renowned for its force and brevity. Moreover, the second line of the poem is chiastic, insofar as a passive verb form follows every active verb form (nescio (active) - fieri (passive) - sentio (active) - excrucior (passive)).

The meter of the poem is the elegiac couplet.

Musical settings[edit]