Paradiso by DanteParadiso by Dante

Paradiso

byDante

Mass Market Paperback | January 1, 1986

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This brilliant new verse translation by Allen Mandelbaum captures the consummate beauty of the third and last part of Dante's Divine Comedy. The Paradiso is a luminous poem of love and light, of optics, angelology, polemics, prayer, prophecy, and transcendent experience. As Dante ascends to the Celestial Rose, in the tenth and final heaven, all the spectacle and splendor of a great poet's vision now becomes accessible to the modern reader in this highly acclaimed, superb dual language edition. With extensive notes and commentary.
Dante Alighieri was born in Florence, Italy in 1265. His early poetry falls into the tradition of love poetry that passed from the Provencal to such Italian poets as Guido Cavalcanti, Dante's friend and mentor. Dante's first major work is the Vita Nuova, 1293-1294. This sequence of lyrics, sonnets, and prose narrative describes his lov...
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Title:ParadisoFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 6.86 × 4.18 × 1.03 inPublished:January 1, 1986Publisher:Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553212044

ISBN - 13:9780553212044

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CANTO ILa gloria di colui che tutto moveper l'universo penetra, e risplendein una parte piu e meno altrove.Nel ciel che piu de la sua luce prende4fu' io, e vidi cose che ridirene sa ne puo chi di la su discende;perche appressando se al suo disire,7nostro intelletto si profonda tanto,che dietro la memoria non puo ire.Veramente quant' io del regno santo10ne la mia mente potei far tesoro,sara ora materia del mio canto.O buono Appollo, a l'ultimo lavoro13fammi del tuo valor si fatto vaso,come dimandi a dar l'amato alloro.Infino a qui l'un giogo di Parnaso16assai mi fu; ma or con amenduem'e uopo intrar ne l'aringo rimaso.Entra nel petto mio, e spira tue19si come quando Marsia traestide la vagina de le membra sue.O divina virtu, se mi ti presti22tanto che l'ombra del beato regnosegnata nel mio capo io manifesti,vedra'mi al pie del tuo diletto legno25venire, e coronarmi de le foglieche la materia e tu mi farai degno.Si rade volte, padre, se ne coglie28per triunfare o cesare o poeta,colpa e vergogna de l'umane voglie,Proem and Invocation to Apollo. Dante's passing beyond the human, beyond the earth, in heavenward ascent with Beatrice. His wonder. Beatrice on the Empyrean and the order of the universe.The glory of the One who moves all thingspermeates the universe and glowsin one part more and in another less.I was within the heaven that receives4more of His light; and I saw things that hewho from that height descends, forgets or cannot speak; for nearing its desired end,7our intellect sinks into an abyssso deep that memory fails to follow it.Nevertheless, as much as I, within10my mind, could treasure of the holy kingdomshall now become the matter of my song.O good Apollo, for this final taskmake me the vessel of your excellence,what you, to merit your loved laurel, ask.Until this point, one of Parnassus' peaks16sufficed for me; but now I face the test,the agon that is left; I need both crests.Enter into my breast; within me breathe19the very power you made manifestwhen you drew Marsyas out from his limbs' sheath.O godly force, if you so lend yourself22to me, that I might show the shadow ofthe blessed realm inscribed within my mind,then you would see me underneath the tree25you love; there I shall take as crown the leavesof which my theme and you shall make me worthy.So seldom, father, are those garlands gathered28for triumph of a ruler or a poet—a sign of fault or shame in human wills—che parturir letizia in su la lieta31delfica deita dovria la frondapeneia, quando alcun di se asseta.Poca favilla gran fiamma seconda:34forse di retro a me con miglior vocisi preghera perche Cirra risponda.Surge ai mortali per diverse foci37la lucerna del mondo; ma da quellache quattro cerchi giugne con tre croci,con miglior corso e con migliore stella40esce congiunta, e la mondana cerapiu a suo modo tempera e suggella.Fatto avea di la mane e di qua sera43tal foce, e quasi tutto era la biancoquello emisperio, e l'altra parte nera,quando Beatrice in sul sinistro fianco46vidi rivolta e riguardar nel sole:aguglia si non li s'affisse unquanco.E si come secondo raggio suole49uscir del primo e risalire in suso,pur come pelegrin che tornar vuole,cosi de l'atto suo, per li occhi infuso52ne l'imagine mia, il mio si fece,e fissi li occhi al sole oltre nostr' uso.Molto e licito la, che qui non lece55a le nostre virtu, merce del locofatto per proprio de l'umana spece.Io nol soffersi molto, ne si poco,58ch'io nol vedessi sfavillar dintorno,com' ferro che bogliente esce del foco;e di subito parve giorno a giorno61essere aggiunto, come quei che puoteavesse il ciel d'un altro sole addorno.Beatrice tutta ne l'etterne rote64fissa con li occhi stava; e io in leile luci fissi, di la su rimote.Nel suo aspetto tal dentro mi fei,67qual si fe Glauco nel gustar de l'erbache 'l fe consorto in mar de li altri dei.that when Peneian branches can incite31someone to long and thirst for them, delightmust fill the happy Delphic deity.Great fire can follow a small spark: there may34be better voices after me to prayto Cyrrha's god for aid--that he may answer.The lantern of the world approaches mortals37by varied paths: but on that way which linksfour circles with three crosses, it emergesjoined to a better constellation and40along a better course, and it can temperand stamp the world's wax more in its own manner.Its entry from that point of the horizon43brought morning there and evening here; almost all of that hemisphere was white--while ourswas dark--when I saw Beatrice turn round46and left, that she might see the sun: no eaglehas ever stared so steadily at it.And as a second ray will issue from49the first and reascend, much like a pilgrimwho seeks his home again, so on her action,fed by my eyes to my imagination,52my action drew, and on the sun I setmy sight more than we usually do.More is permitted to our powers there55than is permitted here, by virtue ofthat place, made for mankind as its true home.I did not bear it long, but not so briefly58as not to see it sparkling round about,like molten iron emerging from the fire;and suddenly it seemed that day had been61added to day, as if the One who canhad graced the heavens with a second sun.The eyes of Beatrice were all intent64on the eternal circles; from the sun,I turned aside: I set my eyes on her.In watching her, within me I was changed67as Glaucus changed, tasting the herb that madehim a companion of the other sea gods.Trasumanar significar per verba70non si poria; pero l'essemplo bastia cui esperienza grazia serba.S'i' era sol di me quel che creasti73novellamente, amor che 'l ciel governi,tu 'l sai, che col tuo lume mi levasti.Quando la rota che tu sempiterni76desiderato, a se mi fece attesocon l'armonia che temperi e discerni,parvemi tanto allor del cielo acceso79de la fiamma del sol, che pioggia o fiumelago non fece alcun tanto disteso.La novita del suono e 'l grande lume82di lor cagion m'accesero un disiomai non sentito di cotanto acume.Ond' ella, che vedea me si com' io,85a quietarmi l'animo commosso,pria ch'io a dimandar, la bocca aprioe comincio: "Tu stesso ti fai grosso88col falso imaginar, si che non vedicio che vedresti se l'avessi scosso.Tu non se' in terra, si come tu credi;91ma folgore, fuggendo il proprio sito,non corse come tu ch'ad esso riedi."S'io fui del primo dubbio disvestito94per le sorrise parolette brevi,dentro ad un nuovo piu fu' inretitoe dissi: "Gia contento requievi97di grande ammirazion; ma ora ammirocom' io trascenda questi corpi levi."Ond' ella, appresso d'un pio sospiro,100li occhi drizzo ver' me con quel sembianteche madre fa sovra figlio deliro,e comincio: "Le cose tutte quante103hanno ordine tra loro, e questo e formache l'universo a Dio fa simigliante.Qui veggion l'alte creature l'orma106de l'etterno valore, il qual e fineal quale e fatta la toccata norma.Passing beyond the human cannot be70worded: let Glaucus serve as simile—until grace grant you the experience.Whether I only was the part of me73that You created last, You—governingthe heavens--know: it was Your light that raised me.When that wheel which You make eternal through76the heavens' longing for You drew me withthe harmony You temper and distinguish,the fire of the sun then seemed to me79to kindle so much of the sky, that rainor river never formed so broad a lake.The newness of the sound and the great light82incited me to learn their cause--I wasmore keen than I had ever been before.And she who read me as I read myself,85to quiet the commotion in my mind,opened her lips before I opened mineto ask, and she began: "You make yourself88obtuse with false imagining; you cannot see what you would see if you dispelled it.You are not on the earth as you believe;91but lightning, flying from its own abode,is less swift than you are, returning home."While I was freed from my first doubt by these94brief words she smiled to me, I was yet caughtin new perplexity. I said: "I wascontent already; after such great wonder,97I rested. But again I wonder howmy body rises past these lighter bodies."At which, after a sigh of pity, she100settled her eyes on me with the same looka mother casts upon a raving child,and she began: "All things, among themselves,103possess an order; and this order isthe form that makes the universe like God.Here do the higher beings see the imprint106of the Eternal Worth, which is the endto which the pattern I have mentioned tends.Ne l'ordine ch'io dico sono accline109tutte nature, per diverse sorti,piu al principio loro e men vicine;onde si muovono a diversi porti112per lo gran mar de l'essere, e ciascunacon istinto a lei dato che la porti.Questi ne porta il foco inver' la luna;115questi ne' cor mortali e permotore;questi la terra in se stringe e aduna;ne pur le creature che son fore118d'intelligenza quest' arco saetta,ma quelle c'hanno intelletto e amore.La provedenza, che cotanto assetta,121del suo lume fa 'l ciel sempre quietonel qual si volge quel c'ha maggior fretta;e ora li, come a sito decreto,124cen porta la virtu di quella cordache cio che scocca drizza in segno lieto.Vero e che, come forma non s'accorda127molte fiate a l'intenzion de l'arte,perch' a risponder la materia e sorda,cosi da qesto corso si diparte130talor la creatura, c'ha poderedi piegar, cosi pinta, in altra parte;e si come veder si puo cadere133foco di nube, si l'impeto primol'atterra torto da falso piacere.Non dei piu ammirar, se bene stimo,136lo tuo salir, se non come d'un rivose d'alto monte scende giuso ad imo.Maraviglia sarebbe in te se, privo139d'impedimento, giu ti fossi assiso,com' a terra quiete in foco vivo."Quinci rivolse inver' lo cielo il viso.142Within that order, every nature has109its bent, according to a different station,nearer or less near to its origin.Therefore, these natures move to different ports112across the mighty sea of being, eachgiven the impulse that will bear it on.This impulse carries fire to the moon:115this is the motive force in mortal creatures:this binds the earth together, makes it one.Not only does the shaft shot from this bow118strike creatures lacking intellect, but thosewho have intelligence, and who can love.The Providence that has arrayed all this121forever quiets--with Its light--that heavenin which the swiftest of the spheres revolves;to there, as toward a destined place, we now124are carried by the power of the bowthat always aims its shaft at a glad mark.Yet it is true that, even as a shape127may, often, not accord with art's intent,since matter may be unresponsive, deaf,so, from this course, the creature strays at times130because he has the power, once impelled,to swerve elsewhere; as lightning from a cloudis seen to fall, so does the first impulse,133when man has been diverted by false pleasure,turn him toward earth. You should--if I am right—not feel more marvel at your climbing than136you would were you considering a streamthat from a mountain's height falls to its base.It would be cause for wonder in you if,139no longer hindered, you remained below,as if, on earth, a living flame stood still."Then she again turned her gaze heavenward. 142

From Our Editors

The Paradiso is a luminous poem of love and light, of optics, angelology, polemics, prayer, prophecy, and transcendent experience. As Dante ascends to the Celestial Rose, in the tenth and final heaven, all the spectacle and splendor of a great poet's vision now becomes accessible to the modern reader in this highly acclaimed, superb dual language edition.

Editorial Reviews

"The English Dante of choice."--Hugh Kenner."Exactly what we have waited for these years, a Dante with clarity, eloquence, terror, and profoundly moving depths."--Robert Fagles, Princeton University."Tough and supple, tender and violent . . . vigorous, vernacular . . . Mandelbaum's Dante will stand high among modern translations."--The Christian Science Monitor"Lovers of the English language will be delighted by this eloquently accomplished enterprise."--Book Review Digest