DANTE AND HIS MUSE, BEATRICE, SPEAK OF POETRY

On awakening the poets voice: Dante speaks of his Muse (33 -45)

       And my spirit, that already so much
was used to being in her humbling presence,
was in awe, trembling, distraught, and scared

       Without my eyes having her knowledge,
For hidden virtue came from her movements,
In her ancient love I heard the great power.

       When her seeing eyes stuck me,
A high virtue that already had me prostrate
Before moving beyond childhood ways,

       I was turned to the left and to the right
And with the trust of the immature child
Who runs scared to his mother when afflicted,

       I spoke to Virgil “Less than a drop
of blood within me is not trembling and scared:
I now know the signs of her ancient flame.”

On distractions and discovery of the way: Beatrice, his muse, rebukes Dante (127 – 144)

       When my body and spirit had risen,
And with your beauty and virtue growing,
It was me, close to you, pleasing man;

       You turned and stepped another way,
Taking false roads, other visions of goodness,
Where nothing promised made you whole.

       Nor did my invoked inspiration take you,
So in days and within dreams and otherways
I called you; but little you heeded me!

       How low you fell that all arguments
For your salvation went wide of the mark,
Except that I show you the lost people.

       With reason he showed you deaths door,
And to the one who lead you to that point,
I begged, you are mine, weeping to lead you.

       But God’s high fate would have broken
If he let you pass and taste such rich vines
Without some penance and shedding of tears.

 

David Scanlon – England – (1963 – )

Dante (2018) Collected Poems: New Translations: New Translations. The Foolish Poet Press, Wilmslow, Italy. DANTE AND HIS MUSE, BEATRICE, SPEAK OF POETRY. Page Number 43.

On awakening the poets voice: Dante speaks of his Muse (33 -45)

       E lo spirito mio, che già cotanto
tempo era stato ch’a la sua presenza
non era di stupor, tremando, affranto,

       sanza de li occhi aver più conoscenza,
per occulta virtù che da lei mosse,
d’antico amor sentì la gran potenza.

       Tosto che ne la vista mi percosse
l’alta virtù che già m’avea trafitto
prima ch’io fuor di püerizia fosse,

       volsimi a la sinistra col respitto
col quale il fantolin corre a la mamma
quando ha paura o quando elli è afflitto,

       per dicere a Virgilio: `Men che dramma
di sangue m’è rimaso che non tremi:
conosco i segni de l’antica fiamma’.

On distractions and discovery of the way: Beatrice, his muse, rebukes Dante (127 – 144)

       Quando di carne a spirto era salita,
e bellezza e virtù cresciuta m’era,
fu’ io a lui men cara e men gradita;

       e volse i passi suoi per via non vera,
imagini di ben seguendo false,
che nulla promession rendono intera.

       Né l’impetrare ispirazion mi valse,
con le quali e in sogno e altrimenti
lo rivocai: sì poco a lui ne calse!

       Tanto giù cadde, che tutti argomenti
a la salute sua eran già corti,
fuor che mostrarli le perdute genti.

       Per questo visitai l’uscio d’i morti,
e a colui che l’ha qua sù condotto,
li prieghi miei, piangendo, furon porti.

       Alto fato di Dio sarebbe rotto,
se Letè si passasse e tal vivanda
fosse gustata sanza alcuno scotto

 

Dante Alighieri – Italian – (1265 – 1321)

Dante, A (1472) La Comedia di Dante Alleghieri. Purgatorio – Canto XXXJohann Numeister and Evangelista Angelini da Trevi; Foligno.

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