Dante Alighieri : Il Summo Poeta (the Supreme Poet)
“Siede la terra dove nata fui
Su la marina dove il Po descende
Per aver pace co’ seguaci sui.
Amor che al cor gentil ratto s’apprende.
Prese costui de la bella persona
Che mi fu tolta; e il modo ancor m’offende.
Amor, ch’a nullo amato amar perdona,
Mi prese del costui piacer si’ forte,
Che, come vedi, ancor non m’abbandona…
Amor condusse noi ad una morte,
Caina attende chi a vita ci spense
Ci porto ad una morte”
“Lies the land where I was born;
On the marina where the Po descends
To find peace from his followers.
Love, which quickly conquers a gentle heart,
So inflamed him for my beautiful person
Which was taken from me, and the manner
Still offends me.
Love, to one who’s never loved, forgives loving,
Gave me such pleasure in him, that as you see,
Still has not abandoned me. Love brought us to a united death,
The punishment of Cain awaits who
Extinguished our lives.”
English translation by the sculptor
The statue of Dante is in the Italian Cultural Gardens in Rockefeller Park here in Cleveland. The size is about 11 feet with the base, and the base has niches with the central figures of the Divine Comedy in them.
East Face — Heaven/Paradiso — Beatrice
Canto XXXI, V 82–84
Of the many things I have seen, by your power and your goodness, I see the great virtue.
Canto XXXI, V91–93
This was my prayer, and she though far away, smiled and looked back at me, then returned to the eternal fountain.
North Face — Purgatory/Purgatorio — Stazio
Canto XXI, V 124–126
He who guides my soul to higher things, is that Virgil from whom you found power to sing of gods and men.
Canto XXI, V130–132
He bent his knee to kiss the feet of my guide; but he said to him “do not do this for I am but a shadow and you but a shade.”
South Face — Hell/Inferno — Paolo & Francesca
Canto V, V 97–107
Lies the land where I was borne on the marina where the Po descends to find peace from his followers.
Love, which quickly conquers a gentle heart, so inflamed him for my beautiful person which was taken from me, and the manner
still offends me.
Love brought us to a united death the punishment of Cain awaits he who extinguished our lives.
All images are under copyright © Sandro Boniauto