Tuesday, July 23, 2013

News at Eleven: [Clive] James is unable or unwilling to pull off,

or replicate, Dante's trick of ending each book with the word "stelle"--stars--but then if he'd done so he would have lost the impressive couplet with which he closes the whole poem, and, as he says, there aren't that many rhymes in English for "stars": ". . . the deepest wish that I could feel/And all my will, were turning with the love/That moves the sun and all the stars above."

It's slightly tautologous, in that there are no stars below, and if you can't end with the word "stars" you might have ended it with "love", as that's what the whole poem is about; both the love of God for all creation and, in lesser fashion, Dante's love for Beatrice.

from The Guardian: The Divine Comedy by Dante, translated by Clive James--review


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