Catullus 85

When I have cause to loathe someone, it is potent, abysmal, and absolute. The result is usually an illness to both body and spirit, as the sentiment of hatred is surely a cancer.
On the contrary, and although I have a hard time expressing it, I love with a passion which is as love does – defying sense and reason. I have found that one of these emotions can blend into the other, resulting in a flaming cycle of fevered passion that threatens to unhinge the victim.

That’s how I would say it. As I do tend to babble, imagine my elation at discovering the following words. Short and bittersweet, I heard this jewel of a poem on the TV series The Borgias, and it’s my second entry for the quote challenge.

I hate and I love. ‘Why?’, you may ask.
I do not know. But it happens and I burn.

– Gaius Valerius Catullus (from the poem Catullus 85)


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