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.'" [1]
I hate and I love. Why do I do this, perhaps you ask.
I do not know, but I feel it happening and I am tortured.

Its declaration of conflicting feelings "I hate and I love" (in Latin, Odi et amo) is renowned for its force and brevity.

The meter of the poem is the elegiac couplet.

- u u / - - / - u u / - - / - u u / - u
Od'et a/mo. Qua/r'id faci/am, for/tasse re/quiris?
- u u / - u u / - // - u u / - u u / -
Nescio, / sed fie/ri // senti'et / excruci/or.[2]

Musical settings[edit]

  • "Odi et amo" No. 19 of "Moralia" by composer Jacobus Gallus
  • "Odi et amo" part of Catulli Carmina by composer Carl Orff
  • Odi et amo by composer Jóhann Jóhannsson off the album Englabörn.
  • "Wrecking Ball" by By Dr. Luke, Sacha Skarbek, Mozella, Stephan Moccio & Cirkut -- Adaptation with Catullus 85 by Eric Whitacre, performed by Eric Whitacre Singers and Marius Beck; Performed live and recorded at the 2015 iTunes Festival in London


  1. ^ "C. Valerius Catullus, Carmina, Poem 85". Perseus Digital Library. Retrieved 8 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Kitchell, Kenneth F., Jr.; Smith, Sean (2006). Catullus: A Legamus Transitional Reader. p. xxix. ISBN 978-0-86516-634-9. Retrieved April 17, 2006.