Monday, August 17, 2009

All the Dante I can swallow in a sitting

Here's a nice little excerpt from Dante's Inferno, translated from the Italian. I do have the Italian version on the opposite page but I won't attempt to print it here. This is from Dustin C.'s copy that Austin borrowed many moons ago. I don't own anything quite this artsy.

Within that bog, all naked and muddy -- with looks
Of fury, striking each other ...

"These are the souls whom anger overcame,
My son; know also, that under the water are found

Others, whose sighing makes these bubbles come
That pock the surface everywhere you look.
Lodged in the slime they say: 'Once we were grim

And sullen in the sweet air above, that took
A further gladness from the play of sun;
Inside us, we bore acedia's dismal smoke.

We have this black mire now to be sullen in.'

There, a little literature for you. I don't know if I can wade through the entire narrative. It's very thick, rather like that bog. (This recalls my long-ago post about Emily Dickenson's bog; lots of creativity bubbling in there.) The Inferno, as I find it, is quite old-fashioned. Hellfire and brimstone!! I expect Hell has been remodeled since then and is much more upscale. Anyhow, Hell is one of those bizarre concepts that seems to have been invented by people for their own convenience -- a good place to send all the great unwashed legions, the picked-upon, and the types of folks who deserve what they get. All of them and none of us.

As my friend Karen is fond of saying, are Heaven and Hell "places" or more accurately, where we exist right now? Take care of now, and eternity will take care of itself.

I have had my moments of bathing in sullenness! OK, so maybe it was years, and years. I was entitled, for various reasons. Besides, those always-joyful people making-lemonade-from-lemons can be such a pain in the ass! Someone had to counteract THEM. Now I'm experiencing life with two teenagers, and feeling the pain of being on the receiving end of all that sullenness. I should read them some Dante and see if their mood improves. Ya want to be lodged in the slime for all eternity, kid? Then shape up! I doubt it would translate well, though.

Now I've done my literature workout for the day. Whew! Time to go on a walking meditation, yup, I'll be meditating my heart out (heh-heh).

Who could be sullen with a pic like this to look at?

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