Dante, Through the Fire

7 thoughts on “Dante, Through the Fire”

  1. I read a different translation by John Ciardi, and he tried to preserve the meter and rhyme of the original. In so doing, I wonder how much he changed it. I wonder how much of what I was reading was Dante and how much was Ciardi. You picked some excellent subject matter for this interesting post.

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  2. Thanks Robert. I’ve read Ciardi too, & also hear that Laurence Binyon’s terza-rima is among the best, but I have the same worries as you. Italian is much easier to rhyme in than English, so you do wonder if something “technically” like Dante is actually very far from him, & that the difficulty of rendering it into English makes for difficult stilted poetry that’s miles away from Dante. It’s always worth remembering that Dante was writing in the vernacular, & intentionally so, so that perhaps the best Dante translation we can get is always changing, always the one closest to the spoken English of our present day?

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  3. Gasp! Every time, Dante. You do it to me every time.

    It’s his smallest comparisons that delight me (the child beguiled by fruit) and then he finishes it with that final line from Virgil. I always go back to Dante. He draws me in with his story and mysticism. So beautiful – thanks for this one!

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