Document 460

A Small Book of Translations: 12 - Catullus 11

Author(s): Alexander Hutchison

Copyright holder(s): Alexander Hutchison



Iggy, because he happens to have
white teeth, slaps on a permanent grin.
Suppose he approaches the plaintiff's bench –
the advocate plucking at the heart strings –
there's that smile. When tears are tripping
a mother bereft at the grave of her own sweet
biddable boy – he's smiling still. Whatever it is,
wherever he is, whatever else he may be up to,
you can guarantee his pan stays cracked.
It's an ailment he's got: in my view
neither flattering nor a fit state to be.
I'll tell you, Ignatius, old cheese, if you
were a Cockney, a Brummie, or a Geordie
or a lard-ass Liverpudlian, a blob from
Belfast, or a black and tusky Cardiff-ite –
or a Keelie (for nearest and dearest) –
or anyone else that cleans their teeth with
clean tap water, I still wouldn't want you to
plaster on that everlasting gob-stretching grin.
Nothing dies a death like a manufactured laugh.
As it is, you're a Mealie, and in Mealie-land
everyday the Mealies work their teeth and rosy
gums with what was pissed that morning –
so the more refulgent the choppers the more piss
you're seen to have downed or floated over.

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A Small Book of Translations: 12 - Catullus 11. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 25 June 2024, from

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"A Small Book of Translations: 12 - Catullus 11." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 25 June 2024.

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 460

A Small Book of Translations: 12 - Catullus 11


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Year of composition 2004
Word count 211
General description Collection of poems in translation

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)
Magazine (e-zine)

Text publication details

Part of larger text

Text setting

Other Literature in translation/poetry

Text type



Author details

Author id 420
Forenames Alexander
Surname Hutchison
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Occupation Writer / Senior Lecturer
Place of birth Buckie
Region of birth Banff
Birthplace CSD dialect area Bnf
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Medical Practitioner
Father's place of birth Spey Bay
Father's region of birth Moray
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Mry
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation School Meals Supervisor
Mother's place of birth Buckie
Mother's region of birth Banff
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Bnf
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Generally/work/home etc.
French Yes Yes No Yes
Italian No Yes No No translation
Latin No Yes No No
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Socially/home/writing