Catullus was the leading representative of a revolution in poetry created by the neoteroi or "new men" in Rome. Rather than writing about battles, heroes, and the pagan gods, Catullus draws his subjects from everyday, intensely personal life.
My sweetest Lesbia, let us live and love, And though the sager sort our deeds reprove, Let us not weigh them. Heaven's great lamps do dive Into their west, and straight again revive, But soon as once set is our little light, Then must we sleep one ever-during night. See Catullus 200:5.thomas campion
BALD heads forgetful of their sins, Old, learned, respectable bald heads Edit and annotate the lines That young men, tossing on their beds, Rhymed out in love's despair To flatter beauty's ignorant ear. All shuffle there; all cough in ink; All wear the carpet with their shoes; All think what other people think; All know the man their neighbour knows. Lord, what would they say Did their Catullus walk that way?
Ovid 's a rake, as half his verses show him, Anacreon's morals are a still worse sample, Catullus scarcely has a decent poem, I don't think Sappho's Ode a good example, Although Longinus tells us there is no hymn Where the sublime soars forth on wings more ample; But Virgil's songs are pure, except that horrid one Beginning with "Formosum Pastor Corydon."lord byron
Catullus is a completely sophisticated, urbane poet, and his sophistication is sincere because his emotions were sophisticated. He expresses the spirit and essence of what we call "society".
Catullus was the first Roman who imitated with success the Greek writers, and introduced their numbers among the Latins.
His blend of sensitivity and detachment, elegance, wit, and learning, had a profound influence on later Roman poets, especially Catullus , Ovid , and Propertius (the last thought of himself as the Roman Callimachus), and through them on the whole European literary tradition.