Spring Poetry at Wilton Library: The Magic, Mystery, and Metaphor of Myth in Catullus' Poem 64

Spring poetry returns to the Wilton Library in March for four sessions, March 7, 14, 21, and 28 from 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. Led by Dr. Gerald Weiss, the seminar will focus on the poetic masterpiece of Roman poet Catullus. Many who have studied Latin are perhaps familiar with some of his love poems but few have delved into Poem 64, an epyllion or 'mini-epic' that uses an epic narrative style but is considerably shorter at only about 400 lines.
 
The poem brings alive a marriage 'Bedspread' and reformulates myth and the nature of heroism. In re-telling the stories of Peleus and Thetis, as well as those of Theseus and Ariadne, Catullus seems to reject heroic deeds motivated by honor and glory in favor of those inspired by love. The poem 'questions what it means to live and love in the shadow of the past' and the nature of the relationship between the human and the divine. This seminar will take participants through the twists and turns, the paradoxes and parallels, of well-known stories from the Calling and Captivation of Peleus by Thetis, the Challenge and Conquest of the Minotaur by Theseus, the Complaint and Catastrophe of Ariadne, and finally the Ceremony and Celebration of the Wedding of Peleus and Thetis.
 
Dr. Gerald Weiss earned both a B.A and an M.A. in Classical Languages from St. Louis University. He pursued graduate studies in Philosophy and Theology at Innsbruck University (Austria) and later at the Gregorian University (Rome, Italy) where he received his Ph.D. While writing his dissertation, he taught for a year at the Rome Center of Loyola University of Chicago. Upon returning to the United States he taught Philosophy/Theology/Religious Studies at Seton Hall, St. Louis and various other universities. He has had one book published and written numerous articles for educational, religious and spiritual periodicals and journals. Since retiring he has devoted most of his free time to painting and has exhibited some of his works at the Wilton Library.
 
Poetry packet available at front desk one week before the seminar begins. There is no charge for the program, but advance registration is required. To register, please click here or call (203) 762-6334. By registering for the first session you will automatically be registered for all four sessions.
 
Wilton Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Road in Wilton, Conn. For more information, visit wiltonlibrary.org

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