Talk:Poetry of Catullus

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Removing Merge[edit]

I'm going to go ahead and be bold and remove the merge notice per my statements here. (Note the merge notice has been hanging out since this stubby version[1] since October with no discussion. Like the summary says, feel free to readd if you think it applies, but please go ahead and drop a note here. Bitnine 00:16, 16 February 2007 (UTC)


copied from Yolgnu's Talk page (31 March 2008):

Hey, I appreciate all your efforts on the Catullus poems; I've been pretty lonely on them for some time now and it's nice to have someone knowledgeable onboard. Can I make two suggestions, b'vakashah? First, it's probably not gentlemanly to dismiss people's work as WP:NONSENSE, even if your edits improved the page, right? I'm sure that the people who made the previous "literal" translations (not me) probably did so in good faith, and weren't trying to be lame. Generally, I agreed with your changes, but still, in my opinion, we shouldn't dampen the enthusiasm of people who sincerely want to contribute. Someday a professional Catullus scholar might see our work, and hopefully she won't be scornful of our efforts, either. Perhaps the safest thing to do might be to take over a public-domain, line-by-line translation and reference it — what do you think?
Secondly, you recently deleted ~4kb of my work on Catullus 2. I understand and appreciate your reasoning, but I think you have been hasty and not considered the context in which that material was added. We should at least Talk about it. If you'd like to help with Catullus 2, please consider joining me in summarizing the available scholarship on Catullus 2, much of which is listed under the "Bibliography". If you have other sources to add, that'd be great, too! :) I have high hopes of bringing Carmen II to Good Article and perhaps even Featured Article status, for which we need to have summarized everything in the scholarly literature. I'm probably busy these next two weeks with other articles (action potential, problem of Apollonius, list of scientific publications of Albert Einstein,...) but I'll try to get back to Catullus before May begins. Willow (talk) 07:54, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

copied from Willow's Talk page (1 April 2008):

As to Catullus 10, the version as it was made no sense, and was too far gone to be fixed. It wasn't your fault; it was anonymous users, and with some of them making word-for-word translations and worse, it's hard to tell whether their edits were in good faith or not.

Anyway, remember that not all of Catullus' poems are WP:NOTABLE. I'd say there are only a dozen or so that are (see below). We should stick to improving those pages (remember there's no point in having the article if the poem's not discussed - this is Wikipedia, not WikiSource), and abandon or delete the rest.

Catullus 2 is Catullus' most famous poem, and as such there are tons of sources on it (I'll find some when I have time), and its Wikipedia article is the most extensive. I can find more sources for it, but if we want it to ever be a good article, we need to clean it up, unclog it and remove irrelevant material. Your biography of Catullus was well written, but it really belongs on the Catullus page, not here. Also, there were two different sections on "manuscript tradition", which basically both said the same thing but with different words, so I merged them into one section (a little bit messy; I'll clean it up later). And another thing - I'll look for textual criticism sources (ie. suggested textual emendations), as it's wrong to give the impression that the text of the poem is certain.

List of poems by Catullus is good (I especially like your summary of the themes), but since Wikipedia is WP:NOTCENSORED, the "obscenities" section (PG13, etc.) is unnecessary, and makes the article seem a little prudish. Do you mind if I delete that?--Yolgnu (talk) 09:34, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Notable Catullus poems in my opinion: 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,10,11,13,16,29,43,45,49,50,51,62,70,84,85,86,93,101.

All of those have already been made into articles except 62 (quite long, but worth it), 93 (historically important as it is about Catullus' relations with Caesar, and also includes the much discussed "I don't care if you are white or black" line). If there's nothing to say about a poem (which is the case for a lot of the very short ones), it shouldn't be here. If it's not significant in some way or another, we should consider deleting it.--Yolgnu (talk) 13:20, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Hi Yolgnu,
It is so nice to find someone who actually cares about Catullus. I also agree with you about my own work at Catullus 2; the division of the poem-unity discussion had long bothered me, but I'd been loath to change the article too boldly lest the original authors come back and, ummm, treat me Kindly. ;) The reason I'd added the Catulline biography and the history of the manuscript transmission was that, well, (a) it seemed cool (to me); but more importantly, (b) I thought it necessary to give some historical context if the article was ever to make Good Article. I agree that it would be silly if those parts were repeated for every Catullus poem — even the notable ones — but I think we can't assume that the reader is going to be willing to read the whole Catullus biography article just for the tidbits that are relevant here. Some kind of summary style seems called for, don't you think?
Also, as you can see from the article history, someone nominated the article prematurely for GA, and I worked like crazy to bring it up, but all in vain. :( To this day, I've never managed to get even one Good Article, although I've managed to make five FA's. So my assumption has been that my articles only have a chance of becoming GA's if I think they're worthy to be FA's; they always seem to have some failing that I've overlooked. :(
I guess I have a more inclusive idea of notability. I considered a Catullus poem notable if I could find a least one scholarly article about it in the literature; you'll find a good subset of those ref's already up on their respective Wikipedia article? I agree with you that your list is like the "greatest hits" of Catullus, and we should work on those articles first — perhaps especially Catullus 5, or Catullus 3 to match Catullus 2? — but I would mourn the loss of poems like Catullus 12, Catullus 96 and Catullus 109, not to mention the famous ode to Sirmio. Anyway, we have time to think all that through; good that you're here! :) Willow (talk) 19:05, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I've just translated Catullus 10 (although I was a bit confused over lines 11-13) and fixed up List of poems by Catullus (as I said, the obscenities section isn't needed, and since many people know of the poems by their first Latin line rather than their number, I thought it was a good idea to add that), although it'd be nice if you could complete the themes section when you have time (I know you're very busy trying to stop various articles from losing Featured status).

We should think on what to do with not so notable poems like Catullus 14b, 27, 40, 52, 58b, 60, 69, 102 and 116. If we can't find anything notable about them (don't let me rush you - Catullus' poems aren't exactly top priority) - well, as much as I hate to say it, we don't want to clutter Wikipedia with minor Catullus poems. --Yolgnu (talk) 03:44, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps we should continue our discussion at Talk:Poetry of Catullus, so other people who may have an interest in it can also see/discuss it.--Yolgnu (talk) 04:19, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree generally with the idea of deleting some minor Catullus poems, although I'd make a plea for keeping [Catullus 60|60]], 69, and 116, and maybe 27, for their meter (60) and content. Perhaps they needn't each have their own article, though? I've been thinking that I was too inclusive in assuming notability on the basis of a few scholarly articles. Perhaps we could combine the minor poems into a few longer meta-articles, such as Invective poetry of Catullus and Lesbia poems of Catullus; the sundry small poems could be different subsections with a paragraph or two, and the few scholarly articles could be cited as footnotes. We could quote choice snippets to give the poem's feel (Odi et amo), or indeed the whole poem if it were short enough.
I'll try to fill in the table List of poems by Catullus with themes next week. I don't mind losing the "obscenity" column; it was a little prudish and OR, but it occurred to me that some readers might want a quick way to know how obscene a poem was. On the other hand, Catullus 16 might be fun to work on after we finish Carmina ii, iii et v. ;) It'd be nice to show that an article about an obscene poem can nonetheless be a thing of beauty and insight.
This whole week is booked with action potential, I'm afraid. :P Let's brood over Catullus, though, and see if any new ideas occur to us! :) Perhaps some of my friends will also have ideas for us... Willow (talk) 17:34, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Good idea! Minor Lesbia poems of Catullus and Poems of unusual metre of Catullus would be much better than dozens of stubs. I'm not sure about Invective poems, though; many, such as Catullus 16 and Catullus 47, are important enough to warrant their own articles, but most are not worth mentioning.
While you're guerilla fighting the Review team, you might like to take a look at these potential sources [2] [3] - although I'll be amazed if you can cope with Action potential and Catullus in your head at the same time ;) --Yolgnu (talk) 12:37, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
"First line" ruined the aesthetics, so that's gone and been replaced with "poem type" - ah, much better! I think that page is just about complete, aside from the themes. But, sorting the page by poem type, it turns out that most of Catullus' poems are invectives! That throws Invective poems out the window... but there are only 23 Lesbia poems, only 7 of which don't have their own article, and so, with the addition of merged poems, Minor Lesbia poems would have a very workable 10-15 poems.--Yolgnu (talk) 13:47, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Please stop tagging Catullus poems for (re)moval[edit]

Please stop tagging the articles for moving to Wikisource, Aramgar! If you've read our discussions, you know that's not what we want; hence, there's no consensus. If you really want to contribute something to the poetry of Catullus and not destroy others' work, then dig up some scholarly references like the dozens I've placed on the pages you're tagging. If you're incapable or unwilling to do that, then at least please wait until both Yolgnu and I are free to Talk with you about what to do with the articles. Willow (talk) 22:49, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I am not trying to destroy the work of others. I am simply trying to put this material in its appropriate place. I have tagged only those poems not represented on en.wikisource. With the exception of Catullus 29, these articles possess no assertions of notability. Indeed most are raw texts and translations; Wikipedia policy explicitly prohibits articles of this type (vide WP:NOTREPOSITORY). The articles, such as they are, will remain accessible within the histories. Aramgar (talk) 00:56, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
I am coming in cold to this discussion, so please do point me to any other discussion that has occurred. That said, I agree with Aramgar's motive and actions to move texts to Wikisource when the articles here have very little content. Wikipedia is not a depository, and typically the editors here have a very poor concept of provenance making Wikipedia a bad host for these items, and resulting in inadvertent "original research", by way of omission.
Also, Wikipedia should not host user contributed translations, as they are clearly original research, and are strictly not permitted here on Wikipedia. On the other hand, Wikisource does permit collaborative translations to be created. There the edit history of a translation page is dedicated to the improvement of the translation, and can be readily inspected and discussed on the talk page.
John Vandenberg (chat) 02:46, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
After much consideration, I agree. At present, most of the poems (with some exceptions, eg. Catullus 1, 2, 4, 5, 16 and 101) exist primarily for Wikipedians to practise their Latin translation skills. Instead, the articles should consist of the original Latin along with a (sourced) discussion of the themes and poetic techniques (and, where appropriate, images and a discussion of influence and textual criticism). Removing the translations, however, will leave a large number of pages with nothing but the original Latin; these articles should be removed, unless they are among his famous Lesbia poems, in which case they should be merged into Minor Lesbia poems of Catullus, which will briefly discuss all these minor but nonetheless notable poems. Note that Willow is currently in the process of completing List of poems by Catullus, so readers will at least be able to read a short description of every Catullus poem, including those not notable enough to have their own article. --Yolgnu (talk) 05:45, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
I am not in any hurry; if there is a plan to address this, "I've got nothing but time"! Let me know if I can be of any assistance on the Wikisource side of things. John Vandenberg (chat) 10:21, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I would suggest that you call the new article something like Lesbia poems of Catullus. All of the Lesbia poems, because of their length, are minor poems. The article could address all the related poems and has the virtue of removing the necessity of determining which poems are "major" and which are "minor". Aramgar (talk) 13:27, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

To help us reach consensus on the coverage and other issues, I've updated the Catullus WikiProject. I included sub-pages for three areas of persistent disagreement:

so that newcomers will be able to find out what our consensus is easily. We can add other special topics as needed.

It would be nice to have at least one image pertinent to Catullus. I've left a note for Kafka Liz to see how she's progressing.

I hope you like what you see, and please accept the invitation to join there! :) Willow (talk) 17:28, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Link to Wikisource[edit]

Wikisource has many Catullus poems with excellent translations, so I think it'd be wise to insert a link to Wikisource's Catullus poems. I'd do it myself but I don't know how to. (talk) 04:13, 20 February 2009 (UTC)