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Literature / Catulli Carmen 16

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"Carmen 16" is Catullus' most infamously profane poem. Also known as "Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo" (after the first line), this shockingly profane piece wasn't even translated into English until modern times. In it, the author threatens to "sodomize and facefuck" friends (namely Aurelius and Furius) who apparently criticized his work as "molliculi" ("delicate" or "soft", implying effeminacy).

Tropes associated with this poem include:

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  • Ancient Rome: The era in which the author lived.
  • Book-Ends: Both the first and last line are "pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo" (Latin for "I will sodomize and facefuck you").
  • Black Comedy Rape: Catullus' threats come off as this, slightly.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: An especially ancient example.'
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Threatening to rape someone who criticized your poetry isn't the most ordinary reaction.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: In Latin, the title "Carmen 16" literally means "song 6", while "Catulli" is the genitive (the case that marks an object as a possessor of another) form of the name Catullus.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: Invoked by some 19th and 20th century translations. The foulest words are left in Latin.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Well, it is a Latin poem in which the author threatens to rape his critics.
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  • Sophisticated as Hell: Naturally.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Catullus and the poem's two subjects. Other poems in the Furius and Aurelius Cycle indicate that they really were friends of his. Probably.
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