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VOTIVE XXIII

By Keiran Goddard

This poem originally appeared in Keiran Goddard’s 2020 poetry collection, “VOTIVE”, published by Offord Road. He is also the author of the 2014 poetry collection “For the Chorus” and his debut novel “Hourglass” (2022) was shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. His latest novel “I See Buildings Fall Like Lightning” will be published in February 2024

Catullus 83

Translated by Isobel Williams

From “Switch: The Complete Catullus”, translated and illustrated by Isobel Williams and published by Carcanet Press. Isobel Williams’ experience of drawing live performance in fetish clubs inspired her to set Catullus in the context of Japanese rope bondage (shibari), reflecting his voluntary emotional enslavement. She explains: “I found my key to Catullus – whom one could define as a bisexual switch from the late Roman Republic: a stern moralist who splits into an anxious bitchy dominant with the boys, a howling sub with the glamorous older married woman who is his nemesis.” Her drawing is taken from a series on Denisse, Whiterabbit and Udo: “One to tie, one to be tied, one to be present”

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Arts & Culture, August / September 2023, Poem

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