The Translator's Guide to Catullus: Seven Steps
I. Give Catullus a frontal lobotomy. II. Now that you've brought him to your level, figure that he is inarticulate, seeing as he just had a frontal lobotomy and all. III. To help him out, disregard any structural or syntactic relation between the words, which you don't even see anyway. It is best to treat his text as Bag of Words. IV. Using your own deep insights, gained from the unknowable depths of your psyche, arrange those little puzzle pieces from that Bag of Words so they deeply resonate with you. V. It helps to recite the original Latin repeatedly so you can really commune, Bag-like, with those Words, unencumbered by thoughts of how they might have gone together in the mind of Catullus, pre-lobotomy. VI. The translator's art is a subtle one, so go and add your own words, idioms, and imagery, because the reader needs even more help than poor old Catullus, and your reader should not have to figure anything out. VII. Give free rein to your own predilections, hang-ups, opinions, politics, morality, and especially your deepest desires. Putting those into Catullus is characteristic of truly great translation. VIII. The final, polished, insightful translation will show off how smart you are, and lead the reader directly to your interpretation, and to no other possible one, because after all, the goal is not to translate the poem, but to translate your interpretation of it, and to present it to readers who are much less intelligent than you are. IX. You can't count anyway, or else you'd have a STEM job.