annales: probably chronicles in verse, after the fashion of the famous Annals of Ennius.
 truces iambos: the traditional weapons of satire since the time of Archilochus; cf. Catul. 12.10n.; Hor. Carm. 1.16.22 “me quoque pectoris fervor in celeres iambos misit furentem” ; Hor. AP 79 “Archilochum proprio rabies armavit iambo” : the poems here meant are Catul. 8.1ff. and, perhaps, Catul. 37.1ff., possibly with others not included in the final liber Catulli.
 pessimi poetae: so Lesbia had in a pet called Catullus, in that he made her uncomfortable by his truces iambi; and she would, of course, dedicate to Vulcan not the bad poetry of some undetermined poetaster, but the particular verses that had stung her, which would naturally be destroyed after a reconciliation as painful memorials (cf. Hor. Carm. 1.16 on a similar occasion). Catullus now playfully ignores the real meaning of her words, and pitches upon Volusius as the pessimus poeta of his acquaintance, whose works are therefore due to Vulcan.
 tardipedi deo: i.e. Vulcan, who was lamed by the fall from heaven to Lemnos (Hom. Il. 1.586ff.); cf. Tib. 1.9.49 “illa velim rapida Volcanus carmina flamma torreat” ; Quint. 8.6.24 “Vulcanum pro igne vulgo audimus.”
 infelicibus lignis: cf. Macrob. 3.20.3 “arbores quae inferum deorum avertentiumque in tutela sunt, eas infelices nominant … quibus portenta prodigiaque mala comburi iubere oportet” ; Legg. Regg. ap. Liv. 1.26 “infelici arbori reste suspendito [perduellionem].”
 nunc: the moment of consummation of the vow has come, and the poet as officiating priest stands ready with the offering, and begins the final prayer.
 caeruleo creata ponto: by early tradition Aphrodite was born of the sea-foam: cf. Hes. Theog. 195; Anacr. 54, etc. Note the solemn effect of the manifold address, with which cf. the prayer of Chryses to Phoebus, Hom. Il. 1.37ff., etc.
 Idalium: a town and wooded mountain of Cyprus, whereon stood a renowned temple of Aphrodite; cf. Catul. 61.17; Catul. 64.96; Verg. A. 1.680 “hunc super alta Cythera aut super Idalium recondam” ; Verg. A. 1.692 “in altos Idaliae lucos.”
 Urios: apparently an otherwise unknown parallel form for Urium (Ptol. 3.1.17; Strab. VI. 3.9.), the name of a town which lay at the foot of Mons Garganus in Apulia, on the bay of Urias (Mela 2.4.66). Its connection with the worship of Venus is unknown, though Ellis ascribes it to the association of this district with Diomedes (Verg. A. 8.9), who founded cities (e.g. Venusia) and temples in honor of Aphrodite (Serv. on Verg. A. 11.246).
 harundinosam: the reeds of Cnidus were a great article of export on account of their excellence for manufacture into paper; cf. Plin. NH 16.157; Aus. Ep. 7.49 “nec iam fissipedis per calami vias grassetur Cnidiae sulcus harundinis.”
 Si: etc. cf. Catul. 6.2 and Catul. 10.4; if Catullus had not departed from the strict form of the vow by offering a witty equivalent for the forfeited pledge, there would be no point to the si-clause. With si in this sense, putting deferentially a fact that must be generally conceded (= si quidem), cf. Catul. 76.19.