Horace 1.5 vs "Poison"

That girl is poison
Never trust a big butt and smile
That girl is poison poison

You'll think she's the best thing in the world
She's so fly, she'll drive you right out of your mind

Steal your heart when you're blind
Beware she's schemin', she'll make you think you're dreamin'
You'll fall in love and you'll be screamin' dreamin'

Quis multa gracilis te puer in rosa
perfusus liquidis urget odoribus
grato, Pyrrha, sub antro?
cui flavam religas comam,

simplex munditiis? heu quotiens fidem
mutatosque deos flebit et aspera
nigris aequora ventis
emirabitur insolens,

qui nunc te fruitur credulus aurea,
qui semper vacuam, semper amabilem
sperat, nescius aurae
! miseri, quibus

intemptata nites! me tabula sacer
votiva paries indicat uvida
suspendisse potenti
vestimenta maris deo.

Horaces' poem 1.5 is very similar to Bell Biv Devoe's song "Poison". the first, highlighted in yellow, is about how the girl in both pieces are not what they seem. In the song, she is fun and attractive on the outside. A man would never know that she is a schemer. In the poem, Phyrra seems really pretty with her hair tied up elegantly. No one would be able to see the danger underneath.

The next comparison is in red. The song clearly states that the girl is dangerous, and will hurt the man she is with. Phyrra is described as a "sea, violent with black winds". In both, the girl is dangerous and destructive. She causes harm to the people who only want to love her.

In the aquamarine highlighted part of the song, it talks about how the man thinks "she is the best thing in the world." He is completely in love with her, and once you get through the dated 90s slang, you see that he is "blind" because she is so "fly". Though the boy in the poem takes action instead of passively being captured, he shows his love through the word "urget", pressing upon her. Horace also shows it through the use of the word "crdulus", trustful one. The boy is falling for the trap and actively woos Phyrra, similar to the song.

The final comparison is in pink. The woman finally shows her true colors and tortures the man, so that he is "screamin". Similarly, once Phyrra shows what she really is, the boy is "emirabitur", astonished, and "miseri", unhappy. The entire relationship of each, from start to finish, is compeltely parallel. First, the woman tricks the man, and the man falls for this love. Then, the woman's dangerous side is revealed. Finally, that man is feeling the consequences of the relationship with this poisonous woman. Both the poem and the song illustrate the same situation, only in different languages.

Horace 1.11 vs Yes Man
Tu ne quaesieris, (scire nefas), quem mihi, quem tibi
finem di dederint, Leuconoe, nec Babylonios

temptaris numeros. ut melius, quidquid erit, pati!
seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam,

quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare
Tyrrhenum: sapias, uina liques, et spatio brevi

spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida
aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.


Yes Man is a movie starring Jim Carrey about a man who never does anything. He turns down offers from his friends and boss, and never fully enjoys life. One day, a friend tells him to go to a "yes" seminar, where he promises to say yes to every opportunity that arises. Like in poem 1.11 by Horace, he learns to live in the moment and not worry about the consequences.

This is very similar to Ode 1.11 by Horace. In this poem, Horace is trying to convince a woman, Leuconoe, to have a one night stand with him. His main argument is that we should live in the moment, or "carpe diem" (line 8, "sieze the day"). Equally important is his belief that we should ignore the consequences of our actions and act on impulse, not thinking or planning for the future, instead, me must "endure" ("pati", line 3).

Another similar theme is that, since one never knows what will happen tomorrow, we must make the best of today. In the movie, this is seen when the guru Terence says to Carl, "you say no to life, therefore you are not living." In the poem, Horace says that life is short, implying that we must live it as well as possible ("spatio brevi", line 6). Both pieces try to say that because as humans, we have a very short time to live, so we must enjoy ourselves and live in the moment as to not waste precious time.

Catullus 84
Chommoda dicebat, si quando commoda vellet
dicere, et insidias Arrius hinsidias.
et tum mirifice sperabat se esse locutum,
cum quantum poterat dixerat hinsidias.
Credo, sic mater, sic liber avunculus eius,
sic maternus avus dixerat atque avia.
Hoc misso in Syriam requierant omnibus aures:
audibant eadem haec leniter et leviter,
nec sibi postilla metuebant talia verba,
cum subito affertur nuntius horribilis,
Ionios fluctus, postquam illuc Arrius isset,
iam non Ionios esse sed Hionios.

Wedding Scene in The Princess Bride


In Catullus 84, Catullus makes fun of one of his friends's speech impediment. In the wedding scene from the movie The Princess Bride, the priest also has a funny, and highly exaggerated, speech impediment.

Catullus says that Arrius "hoped that he spoke remarkably well when he said he was able to hambush to the greatest degree." In this passage, Arrius is ignorant of his impediment, and it strikes those around him as humorous. In the movie clip, the priest is gravely performing a wedding ceremony, and he thinks that this is a serious occasion. The audience of the movie thinks that his speech impediment is hilarious, and the fact that he doesn't realize it makes it even funnier.

The Princess Bride is a comedy, meaning that the purpose is to make people laugh. At the end of the poem, Catullus makes a joke. "suddenly a terrifying message was recieved,
The Ionian waves, after Arrius had gone to there, are no longer Ionion but 'Hionian.'" In his poems, Catullus is usually serious, or passionate. He uses his friend's impediment for humor here, and wants people to laugh at his friend when they read the poem. The poem and the movie scene are similar because they both use someone's speech impediment for the sake of humor.

Catullus says that when Arrius left for Syria, "the ears of everyone rested; they hear the same things gently and quietly, and they don't fear such speech from him...". In the video, at 0:40, the prince says, "skip to the end", not wanting to hear the awful speech from the priest because it bothers his ears. Both pieces show that such speech is annoying to those who have to listen to it.

Catullus 5Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis!
soles occidere et redire possunt:
nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,
nox est perpetua una dormienda.
da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.
dein, cum milia multa fecerimus,
conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus,
aut ne quis malus invidere possit,
cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.

"I Want You To Want Me" by Cheap Trick


Catullus 5 is about Catullus ranting about his "love", or obsession, of Lesbia. It reminds me of the song I Want You To Want Me by Cheap Trick. One similarity is the demanding tone of the author in both works. Catullus writes, "Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred, then a thousand others...". By doing this, he shows his complete obsession with Lesbia. It can also be interpreted as Catullus asking Lesbia to prove her love by showering him with kisses. In the chorus of the aforementioned song, it says,
"I want you to want me
I need you to need me
I'd love you to love me
I'm begging you to beg me"
This shows the same obsession and possesiveness as Catullus when he asks for all those kisses. The focus is on the author, and totally disregards the feelings of the other party. Similarly with Catullus, he demands those kisses of Lesbia without mentioning her feelings about the matter. We don't know if those feelings are mutual in either poem, or if they are only fantasies.

Another similarity is in the line "Feelin' all alone without a friend, you know you feel like dyin'." Catullus also says, "let us rate all rumors of strict men a penny!". Both writers are mentioning the views of others and the impact on their relationships. In the song, the girl is upset by her lack of friends. In Catullus 5, rumors are going around about Lesbia and Catullus, and Catullus is telling Lesbia that it doesn't matter if others don't like them, as long as they have eachother. Both men are offering support and protection from the pressures of society.

In both the poem and the song, certain phrases are repeated multiple times. In Catullus, the repetition is in the kisses. All of those phrases sound similar. The song repeats the same phrases over and over, like "Didn't I see you cryin'", "I want you to want me", and "I'll shine up the old brown shoes...if you say that you love me". This repetition reinforces the message of the writer, and sounds passionate and in the moment.