Feb 182016
 

maxresdefaultIn the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost. Ah, how hard a thing it is to tell of that wood, savage and harsh and dense, the thought of which renews my fear! So bitter it is that death is hardly more.

I cannot rightly tell how I entered there, I was so full of sleep at that moment when I left the true way; but when I had reached the foot of a hill at the end of that valley which had pierced my heart with fear, I looked up and saw its shoulders already clothed with beams of the planet that leads men straight on every road.

Dante, Divine Comedy

Jan 312014
 

As soon as ever ofxxx my second age

I was upon the threshold and changed life,

Himself from me he took and gave to others.

When from the flesh to spirit I ascended,

And beauty and virtue were in me increased,

I was to him less dear and less delightful;

And into ways untrue he turned his steps,

Pursuing the false images of good,

That never any promises fulfill;

Nor prayer for inspiration me availed,

By means of which in dreams and otherwise

I called him back, so little did he heed them.

So low he fell, that all appliances

For his salvation were already short,

Save showing him the people of perdition.

For this I visited the gates of death,

And unto him, who so far up has led him,

My intercessions were with weeping borne.

God’s lofty fiat would be violated

If Lethe should be passed, and if such viands

Should tasted be, withouten any scot

Of penitence, that gushes forth in tears.

 

Dante, Purgatorio, Canto XXX

Oct 162010
 

The language that I spoke was entirely extinguished before the uncompletable work (the tower of Babel) of the people of Nembrot was even conceived. For no product of the human reason, from the human taste for always having something new, following the influence of the stars, is ever stable. It is natural that man speaks, but, whether this way or that, nature lets you do yourselves, as it pleases you.

Before I descended into the pains of Hell, on earth the Highest Good was called I, from whence comes the light of joy that enfolds me. The name then became EL, and this change was proper, because the customs of mortals are like leaves on a branch, one goes and another comes.

Dante, Paradise, XXVI, 24 – 138

Jun 272010
 

The glory of him who moves everything penetrates the universe and shines in one part more and, in another, less.

I have been in the heaven which takes most of his light, and I have seen things which cannot be told, possibly, by anyone who comes down from up there.

Because, approaching the object of its desires, our intellect is so deeply absorbed that memory cannot follow it all the way.

Nevertheless, what I was able to store up of that holy kingdom, in my mind, will now be the matter of my poem.

*

O you who are in your little boat, anxious to listen, having followed so far behind my ship which puts to sea singing,

Turn back and revisit the shores you have left: Avoid the high seas in case, perhaps, losing me, you should find yourself bewildered.

The water I venture upon has never been sailed: Minerva breathes, Apollo shows the way and the nine muses point to the bears.

You other few, who have stretched up your necks in time to the bread of angels, upon which life is lived here and no one has too much,

You may well put out on the salt deep with your ships, following in my furrow before the water closes up again.

Dante, Paradiso