May 27, The Paperback of the The Divine Comedy: The Inferno, The and The Paradiso (John Ciardi Translation) by Dante Alighieri at Barnes & Noble. Dante Alighieri (Author), John Ciardi (Translator) This single volume, blank verse translation of The Divine Comedy includes an introduction, maps of Dante’s . The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri . “Ciardi has given us a credible, passionate persona of the poet, stripped of the customary John Crowe Ransom .

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As a hungry cur will set the echoes raving and then fall still when he is thrown a bone, all of his clamor being in his craving, 30 so the three ugly heads of Cerberus, whose yowling at those wretches deafened them, choked on their putrid sops and stopped their fuss.

Canto 21 And you who are living yet, I say begone 85 from these who are dead. The legend of the Harrowing of Hell is Apocryphal. In Dante’s ciardii their place in scholarship more or less corresponded to the role of the theoretician and historian of science in ciaardi universities.

John Ciardi – Wikipedia

This we passed over as if it were firm ground. But Dante’s Hell is on the edge that separates surreality from sentimentality.

He rules the waters and the land and air 1 20 8 The Difine and there holds court, his city and his throne. Jpach part, or cdntica, contains 33 cantos for a to- tal of As subject matter it is the lowest, ugliest, most material- istic of the whole poem. There is no narrative reason why Dante should not sink into the waters divins this stream and Dante follows no fixed rule in dealing with such phenomena, vivine suiting the physical action to the alle- gorical need.

Ciardi had begun translating Dante for his classes at Harvard and continued with the work throughout his time there.

Many additional and incidental interpretations have been advanced for them, but the central interpretation must re- main as noted. My senses had reeled from me out of pity lor the sorrow of those kinsmen and lost lovers.


One can only wonder about the editorial wisdom that would elect to jettison a classic of the translator’s art for a middlebrow translation of the same poem.

Within two decades a half-dozen commentaries had been written, and fifty years later it was accorded the honor of public readings and exposition — an almost unheard-of trib- ute to a work written in the humble vernacular.

Dante understands at once that such forces cannot fail him, and his spirits rise in joyous anticipation.

Full text of “The inferno”

The Poets now enter the dovine unopposed and find them- selves in the Sixth Circle. The sinners are divided into two raging mobs, each soul among them straining madly at a great boulder-Uke weight. He shall hunt her through every nation of sick pride till she is driven back forever to Hell whence Envy first released her on the world.

No tortured wailing rose to greet us here 25 but sounds of sighing rose from every side, sending a tremor through the timeless air, a grief breathed out of untormented sadness, the passive state of those who dwelled apart, men, women, children — a dim and endless congress.

djvine Your Cerberus, if you recall, still wears 95 his throat and chin peeled for such arrogance. Not only would it gather together the knowl- edge which he had found scattered piecemeal in many works and in different forms, it would make that knowledge acces- xx Introduction sible by use of the vernacular instead of Latin. Etymologies and commentary on words such as daisydemijohnjimmiesgerrymanderglitchsnafucretinand baseballamong others, are available from the archives of their website.

Weeping and cursing they come for evermore, and demon Charon with eyes like burning coals herds them in, and with a whistling oar flails on the stragglers to his wake of souls.

The Divine Comedy

Dante is following Vir- gil and finds himself tired and despairing. A great storm of putrefaction falls inces- santly, jphn mixture of stinking snow and freezing rain, which forms into a vile slush underfoot.

Florence lies in the province of Tuscany. The medieval digressions which infest the Banquet have been eliminated by the “fren deirarte.


Ciardi was born at home in Boston ‘s North End in According to the Ptolemaic system the earth was the divije of cre- ation and was surrounded by nine heavenly spheres nine heavens concentrically placed around it.

John Ciardi

He is identifiable only by way of his scandalous connection with Francesca, who speaks these words. Canto IX 73 For this offense, the god killed him and threw his soul into Hades under sentence of eternal torment.

Dante, however, transforms him into an irate and hideous monster with a tail. He will rise between Feltro and Feltro, and in him shall be the resurrection and new day of that sad Italy for which Nisus died, 1 00 and Turnus, and Euryalus, and the maid Camilla. He made earth’s splendors by a like decree and posted as eivine minister this high Dame, thaLady of Permutations.

Dante is saying that he climbed with such zeal comey haste that every footfall comesy him above the last despite the steepness of the climb.

Ciardi’s great merit to be one of the first American xxiv Introduction translators to have perceived this special quality of the In- ferno and the first to have reproduced it successfully in En- glish.

Beyond this present ill and worse to dread, lead me to Peter’s gate and be my guide through the sad halls of Hell. Although it is autobiographical, the Vita Nvtova is not an autobiography; it is a delicate and sensitive analysis of emotions.

Only those elements time cannot wear: And such mad cardi broke from them that I drew close to the Poet, overawed.

Voices hoarse and shrill 25 and sounds of blows, all intermingled, raised tumult and pandemonium that still whirls on the air forever dirty with it as if a whirlwind sucked at sand. They are less well known today.