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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The lids are raised, and no one stands on guard. Why do you butt against Fate’s ordinance? Only as man surrenders himself to Divine Love may he hope for salvation, and salvation is open to all who will sur- render themselves. Among 20th-century American men of letters, he maintained a notably high profile and level of popularity with the general public, as well as a reputation for considerable craftsmanship in his output.

The Divine Comedy

As he often does, Dante refuses to enlighten his readers; that’s part of the spiritual test. All Dante’s characters have perfected their destinies; their personalities have matured, have accomplished what Aristotle terms their entelechies, the perfection reached with the exhaustion of a particular potential.

He contributes regularly to magazines and journals publishing articles about poetry and literary history, and has diine contributed to the American Na- tional Biography, American Writers Beforeand The Encyclopedia of New Jersey. I am one of these.

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 word “papa” as used here probably means “Pope” rather than “father. His father, an Italian immigrant, died in an automobile accident inand he was raised by his Italian mother who was illiterate and his three older sisters.


I’ve read Mandelbaum’s translation When next they pass, call to them in the name of love that drives and damns them here. Know then, O waiting and compassionate ddivine, that is to fear which has the power to harm, and nothing else is fearful even in Hell.

Their oaths are bitter and wild, but she in her beatitude does not hear. The poem itself is translated very well and is a pleasure to read. It is now past midnight of Good Friday. UMich awarded him their Hopwood Prize for his Homeward to America[4] a poetry collection which he submitted under the pseudonym “Thomas Aquinas”.

I found myself before a little hill 1 5 and lifted up my eyes. And overwhelmingly it is a spoken tongue.

Poetry Daily Prose Feature

These were my reasons for deciding on the present form. The more Dantean interpretation, however, is that they add to one another’s anguish a as mutual reminders of their sin, and b as in- substantial shades of the bodies for which they once felt such great passion.

The only way I could see of trying to preserve that gestalt was to try for a language as close as possible to Dante’s, which is in essence a sparse, direct, and idiomatic language, distinguishable from prose only in that it transcends every known notion of prose.

Through seven gates I entered with those sages and came to a green meadow blooming round. An angel’s voice, a music of its own: Love, who makes the beloved love in turn, Enchanted me and sealed our common doom. I haven’t read Musa’s translation. Ciardi had begun translating Dante for his classes at Harvard and continued with the work throughout his time there. His choices are directed by a familiarity with and a fidelity to Dante’s prosodic designs and may have led him to take liberties—and this is a liberty.


The law of Dante’s Hell is the law of symbolic retribution. While primarily known as a poet, he also translated Dante ‘s Divine Comedywrote several volumes of children’s poetry, pursued etymology, contributed to the Saturday Review as a columnist and long-time poetry editor, and directed the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Vermont. Hoarding and squandering wasted all their light and brought them screaming to this brawl of wraiths.

He proceeds to prophesy Dante ‘s banishment from Florence, he defends his part in Florentine politics, and then, in answer to Dante ‘s question, he explains how it is that the damned can foresee the future but have no knowledge of the present.

John Ciardi

The souls of the damned are not per- mitted to repent, for repentance is a divine grace. There is a Lady in Heaven so concerned for him I send you to, that for her sake 95 the strict decree is broken. Their only pain is that civine have no hope.