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The Softer Side of Catullus Exposed in Poem 5 This paper starts by discussing Catullus' real love of existence as expressed in poem 5 and introduced at the first line. It considers poem 5 as somewhat less cynical than most of Catullus' others, and so uniquely revealing. It then examines the first triad, which communicates defiance of convention, and the second, which expresses the brevity of life and the urgency of love. The enumeration of kisses is subsequently discussed in specific detail together with contrasts to genders 7 and 48. Finally, it shows that Catullus' normal cynicism, which is missing throughout most of the poem, appears just at the end, demonstrating Catullus' ingenuity. Though he is really a cynic, Catullus seems to state generally a love of life along with an eagerness to experience it. He feels that the futility of being human, nevertheless he longs to become human, to sense all the joys and pitfalls of being living. Ultimately he sees life and love as wondrous, beautiful things. In few different poems is this view expressed and in poem 5. An idealized picture of furtive love, poem 5 presents a youthful, budding romance between Catullus and the notorious Lesbia. It's has several common characteristics of new love: it's rebellious in its attitude toward those who disapprove, savage in its own perception of time, innocent and charming in its petition for kisses. Composed "in a young point in Catullus' love affair with Lesbia" (Goold 237), poem 5 opens with the words vivamus and amemus. These two words, meaning "let's dwell" and "let's love," characterize Catullus in a manner that few other poems do this well, revealing who he is if lets down the guard of cynicism. Indeed, poem 5 seems to be one of the very cynical and much more honest of Catullus' poems. The.