Skinner’s analysis of how to design sequences of steps came to him as he was finishing a book on which he had worked, on and off, for twenty years. Verbal Behavior published in 1957 is an analysis of why we say, write, and even think the way we do. The book is not easy to read. It took another twenty years before researchers used Skinner’s categories and found that the different controlling variables he postulated were, indeed, independent. Recently their work has led to breakthroughs in teaching children, especially those with autism, to communicate effectively.
Catullus was also an admirer of Sappho , a female poet of the seventh century BC, and is the source for much of what we know or infer about her. Catullus 51 follows Sappho 31 so closely that some believe the later poem to be, in part, a direct translation of the earlier poem, and 61 and 62 are certainly inspired by and perhaps translated directly from lost works of Sappho. Both of the latter are epithalamia , a form of laudatory or erotic wedding-poetry that Sappho had been famous for but that had gone out of fashion in the intervening centuries. Catullus twice used a meter that Sappho developed, called the Sapphic strophe in poems 11 and 51. In fact, Catullus may have brought about a substantial revival of that form in Rome.