John Anthony Ciardi was an Italian-American poet, translator, and etymologist. While primarily known as a poet, he also translated Dante’s Divine Comedy. The Paperback of the The Divine Comedy: The Inferno, The and The Paradiso (John Ciardi Translation) by Dante Alighieri at Barnes & Noble. : The Divine Comedy. Stock Image. The Divine Comedy: Dante Alighieri, John Ciardi (Translator) zoom_in. Stock Image. Quantity Available: 1.

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Dante never mentions the word Limbo or calls the place by that name. Such facts as enter into it assume an air of strange unreality. Comedg meaning of the Furies’ cry is that Dante must be made an example of. Whirling and battering it drives them on, and when they pass the ruined gap of Hell through which we had come, their shrieks begin anew.

That is Megaera to the left of the tower. This is the Upper Hell. Take this one example among dozens that occurs in a note to canto 21 dealing with Dante’s “coarseness Clearly fundamental, however, is the fact that it divides those in the Citadel those who wish to know from those in the outer darkness.

If selva oscuramoreover, is “shadowed forest,” it is so only literally, and perhaps only in a translator’s laboriously literal first draft.

With her shall I leave you, for the King of Time, who reigns on high, forbids me to come there since, living, I rebelled against his law. Evidences of that mystery were sought and found everywhere and such numerical symbolism was not as today comical abracadabra but a serious and even sacred matter.

This is almost certainly intended to be Celestine V, who became Pope in 1 Beyond this present ill and worse to dread, lead me to Peter’s gate and be my guide through the sad halls of Hell. Circling and circling, it seemed to scorn all pause. With his left hand he fanned away the dreary vapors of that sink as he approached; comesy and only of that annoyance did he seem weary.

John Ciardi

As time passed and his reputation grew, his way became easier and his last years were spent in relative comfort at Ravenna as the honored guest of Guido Novello da Polenta, nephew of Francesca da Rimini. The Guelphs returned in 1 25 1but Farinata remained. Here begin the punishments for the various sins of Incontinence The sins of the She-Wolf.


Mythological King of Boeotia. 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. Ciardi began his long association with the Bread Loaf Writers Conference at Middlebury College in Vermontwhere he lectured on poetry for almost 30 years, half that time as director of the program. I have also leaned heavily on the good will and knowledge of a number of scholars.

Allegoric interpretation does not detract from the story as told but is rather an added signifi- cance which one m ay take or leave. It was at this particular moment that Dante’s political career was crowned with the highest success and he was elected one of the six supreme magistrates, called priors. But the wastefulness, the needless difficulties, the groping aroused his indignation, as injustice always did. Men of sound intellect and probity, weigh with good understanding what lies hidden behind the veil of my strange allegory!

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri | : Books

As their own guilty conscience pursued them, so they are pursued by swarms of wasps and hornets. The notes are incredibly extensive the books are more notes than poemand for a first read, I’d almost say there’s a but too much. My first reading coemdy Dante was in the classic John Ciardi translation which I still love.

In our utilitar- ian scorn we are in danger of forgetting that a certain preoc- cupation with form and even today’s straight line betrays such a preoccupation is essential to beauty. The whole poem purports to be a vision of the three realms of the Catholic otherworld, Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, and a description of “the state of the soul after death”; yet it is peopled with Dante’s contempo- raries and, particularly in the materialistic realism of the Inferno, it is torn by issues and feuds of the day, political, religious and personal.

I have been using Ciardi for years. Gradually the Guelphs recovered, and in they com- pletely and finally crushed their enemies atjSenevento. The time now is All of these it must be noted were as- sociated with the Trojans and their Roman descendants. Even those familiar with the poem may be stopped by the emphatic vagueness of him ; the pronoun belongs to Paolo, of course, but Paolo is never directly named in canto 5.


The allegorical point is conjectural, but such conjecture is certainly one of the effects inherent in the use of allegory; when well used, the central symbols of the allegory continue indefinitely to suggest new interpretations and shades of meaning.

But he cannot ask bluntly; he has too much respect for his Guide’s feel- ings. He was the father of Guido Caval- canti, a poet and friend of Dante. No smith works hotter iron in his forge. What joy sets them apart? His arrogant desire to rule singlehanded led to difficulties, however, and he was expelled in This was another problem, to be studied along with that of political instability and strife.

Dante is never so convincing in fact than when he lets the damned bear witness to their crimes through the cold penal logic of which Hell is the final reduction.

The Divine Comedy

Canto V 39 Love, which in gentlest hearts will soonest bloom, seized my lover with passion for that sweet body from which I was torn unshriven to my doom. Wheri Cerberus discovered us in that swill his dragon-jaws yawed wide, his lips drew back in a grin of fangs.

He has also edited or compiled books of letters, poetry, and bibliography. Poems, New and Selected, by John Ciardi. He pays them off again in the Paradiso when he has Cacciaguida Kah-tchah-GWEE-da call them “The insolent gang that makes it- self a dragon to chase those who run away, but is sweet as a lamb to any who show their teeth — or their purse. Views Read Edit View history. Full text of ” The inferno ” See other formats Signet lassies.

His translation of The Inferno was published in Results 1 to 15 of It is clear, too, that Dante means the spirits of Hell to be weight- less. I think [Ciardi’sl version of Dante will be in many respects the best we have seen.