Not all poets admire (or aspire to to be like) Catullus; for a different point of view, here's a lovely poem suggested by :
(Poem #1467) From A Letter From Lesbia
... So, praise the gods, Catullus is away! And let me tend you this advice, my dear: Take any lover that you will, or may, Except a poet. All of them are queer. It's just the same -- a quarrel or a kiss Is but a tune to play upon his pipe. He's always hymning that or wailing this; Myself, I much prefer the business type. That thing he wrote, the time the sparrow died -- (Oh, most unpleasant -- gloomy, tedious words!) I called it sweet, and made believe I cried; The stupid fool! I've always hated birds ...
Catullus may have brought about a revolution in Latin verse by "[rejecting] the epic and its public themes ... [and using] colloquial language to write about personal experience" . But it's clear that to some people, at least, he took the process altogether too far. Dorothy Parker skewers the typical self-absorption of the poet quite brilliantly -- though in a nice irony, what is her own poem but a declaration of personal preferences? thomas.  www.poets.org, quoted at greater length in the commentary to Catullus' fifth Song, Minstrels Poem #1463. [Links] One imagines that Dorothy Parker would have enjoyed reading Wendy Cope's "Being Boring" (Poem #1444), and indeed, there's something delightfully Cope-ish about today's poem. Other Parkers: Poem #150, Resume Poem #192, Comment Poem #486, Epitaph for a Darling Lady Poem #560, Chant for Dark Hours Poem #638, Song of Perfect Propriety Poem #697, A Well Worn Story Poem #878, Frustration Poem #1090, Unfortunate Coincidence Poem #1460, Love Song Other Copes: Poem #587, Strugnell's Rubaiyat Poem #693, Strugnell's Haiku Poem #859, Waste Land Limericks Poem #1059, An Unusual Cat-Poem Poem #1323, Strugnell's Sonnets (VI) The sparrow referred to by Parker/Lesbia is this one: http://www.bartleby.com/245/85.html The Daily Telegraph ran a Catullus translation competition based on the sparrow poem; here are the winners: [broken link] http://www.friends-classics.demon.co.uk/poetry.htm More dead sparrow poems: http://www.lyrics.net.ua/song/34358 http://eir.library.utoronto.ca/rpo/display/poem1943.html