C. J. Fordyce (ed.), Catullus: A Commentary
Hellenistic epigrams turn the theme of hate and love in a variety of ingenious ways (e.g. Philodemus, A.P. v. 107, Euenus, A.P. xii. 172), but this couplet owes nothing to these conceits. Even if the paradox of the disillusioned lover was a τόπος, as it may have been, the sheer simplicity of the words, 'ces paroles négligées', as Fénelon called them, 'où le cœur saisi parle seul dans une espèce de désespoir', is worlds away from convention. An element of formal art, of course, there is: the anticipated question (cf. 72. 7) is a familiar part of the poet's technique, as it is of the orator's. But the conversational idiom of quare id faciam (standing for quare oderim et amem: cf. Hor. Sat. i. 1. 63 'iubeas miserum esse, libenter / quatenus id facit') is the guarantee of sincerity.
85. 1 ama R1
2 sed] si O