Gaius Valerius Catullus

(84-54 BC / Verona, Gaul)

His Boat - Poem by Gaius Valerius Catullus

This boat you see, friends, will tell you
that she was the fastest of craft,
not to be challenged for speed
by any vessel afloat, whether
driven by sail or the labour of oars.
The threatening Adriatic coast won’t deny it,
nor the isles of the Cyclades,
nor noble Rhodes, nor fearful Bosphorus,
nor the grim bay of the Black Sea
where, before becoming a boat, she was
leafy wood: for on the heights of Cytorus
she often hissed to the whispering leaves.
The boat says these things were well known to you,
and are, Amastris and box-wood clad Cytorus:
she says from the very beginning she stood
on your slope, that she dipped her oars
in your water, and carried her owner from there
over so many headstrong breakers,
whether the wind cried from starboard
or larboard, or whether Jupiter struck at the sheets
on one side and the other, together:
and no prayers to the gods of the shore were offered
for her, when she came from a foreign sea
here, as far as this limpid lake.
But that’s past: now hidden away here
she ages quietly and offers herself to you,
Castor and his brother, heavenly Twins.


Comments about His Boat by Gaius Valerius Catullus

  • Nadia Umber Lodhi (11/7/2018 9:09:00 PM)


    friends, will tell you
    that she was the fastest of craft,
    not to be challenged for spe
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Petals Azureblue (11/7/2018 6:41:00 PM)


    Nicely done tribute to a boat. Thanks for posting. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (11/7/2018 12:58:00 PM)


    Not to be challenged for speed! !

    Thanks for sharing.
    (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (11/7/2018 11:07:00 AM)


    But that’s past: now hidden away here
    she ages quietly and offers herself to you,
    Castor and his brother, heavenly Twins.....so touching and impressive. Beautiful poem.
    (Report) Reply

  • Adrian Flett (11/7/2018 2:54:00 AM)


    Such a wonderful description of how something inanimate became a living entity 'she ages quietly and offers herself to you' (Report) Reply

  • Mr Salte (11/7/2018 1:45:00 AM)


    she was great in her time, she was hardworking woman.as the bible described her as an ideal woman.thanks for this. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: brother, sea, together, water, wind, friend



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



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