April 18, 2010


For my lit project, I read the poetry of Tibullus.

After finishing Propertius, I thought it would be a good time to finish up the Roman love Elegy, Tibullus being the only major poet I had not yet read. Two books of his love poems survive, as well as two more books (with no clear demarcation) which are attributed to Tibullus but most likely not his (spurious). Tibullus died young, so little remains.

Tibullus is often described as the simplest of the love poets. He is certainly the most gentle and most sincere. He dreams of an easy country life with his love, as wife, the heart of his humble home. He chooses love over riches, love over war. He is direct about his emotions, and genuinely so. He is quiet. Needy. Tibullus is not coarse or blunt like Catullus; he has none of the flamboyant learning of Ovid; he knows not the style or charm of Propertius--

Tibullus (alas!) is dull.

What a disappointment.

1 comment:

DG said...

yeah sounds pretty dull.