Get Your Premium Membership

Canto XX Hell translation

Of new pains new verses must be composed To give matter for the canto twenty Of the canticle first, treating sunk posed. I just was inclined with desires many To thoroughly look at the open deep, Which was moisten of mournful cry plenty; And I saw people in round valley creep Coming to us, mute and weeping, with pace Which do the litanies in world with weep. As lower went directed then my face, It appeared admirably subject to twist Each one between his chin and the chest base, Because their face was opposite to midst, And then they were thus compelled to walk back, Since the observing forward they had missed. Maybe due to paralysis attack Somebody was twisted completely all; But I never saw him, total his lack. If God lets you, reader, in mind install What you have just read, now imagine then If in wetting my face could not befall, The closest to us image looking when I saw thus distorted, that crying eyes Wetted his buttocks falling down again. Sure I cried, leaning on a jut with sighs, Of the hardest reef, so that now my guide Told me: “Are you of other silly guys? Here the pity lives when it's well died; Who is even more wicked than the one Who to God justice is with pain complied? Straighten your head, straighten, and see beside The one whose eyes on Thebans’ ground posed were; So that all were shouting to him: Where hide, Anfiarao? Why war don't you concur? And did not stop to leave to valley down Til Minos who can everyone deter. Observe now the ones who acted facedown; Because wanted only forward to look, Now only look and walk at back around. You see Tiresias, who new face took When from male to female became just, The form of all his body thus to crook; And before, then, to beat again he must The two wrapped up snakes, with the magic rod, So his male feathers he could adjust. Aronta is that who womb tails in way odd, Who there in the Luni’s mountains, where dig Men from Carrara who live there and plod, Had in the white marbles a cave big As his daily dwelling, the stars from where And the sea also he could see and twig. And that woman who covers hers breasts bare, Which you don’t see, with loosened tresses yet, And has a skin full of fur everywhere, Was Manto, who searching many lands met; Then she rested there where I then was born; So a bit I like that my words you get. After hers father his life had lost worn And after slave became the Bacchus’ town, She went long time around the world forlorn. Italy nice has a lake with renown, At the foot of Alps which the Germans stop Over Tyrol, Benaco is its noun. Thousand sources and more, I think, from top Twixt Garda, Camonica and Pennino wet it With water which stands there after its drop. Halfway a place trentin pastors admit And from Brescia and from Verona too Who could hail, if their way with place should fit. Sitting is Peschiera, nice mean strong true With the Brescian and Bergamask to deal, Where the bank around is steeper and skew. There the need of water falling is real All that exceeds Benaco’s full indeed, Becoming river down valley with reel. After water starts running to proceed, No more Benaco, but Mincio is its name Til Governol, where Po river can feed. Not long way has run, when it meets an aim In which it flattens and becomes a slew; Which in summer is bad deserving blame. Just there passing the raw virgin knew An ample ground, in the midst of mire, Uncultivated and no dwellers through. She there, all human beings to retire, Stopped with hers servants practicing hers art And lived, and left hers vain corps to expire. Men who in near places were split apart Joined that site, because it was clearly strong Thanks to mire which encircled any part. They built the city over those bones wrong; And in hers honor who first chose the site Mantua was called with no chance along. Already dwellers be numerous might, Before the foolish Casalodi’s craze By Pinamonte was deceived onsite. For this I instruct you, if in some ways You hear misplaced the true source of my land, The truth could win any fib which betrays”. And I: “Master, your thoughts are indeed grand And are so sure to capture my faith then, Such as the others would be extinct brand. But tell me, of those forward walking men, If you can see any who deserves note; Since only to this I use mind and pen”. He then told me: “That one who now from throat Poses his own beard on the shoulders dark, Lived – when Greece of males was empty moat, Such as remained for babycots almost stark- As augur, and with Calcant then hint gave In Aulis to cut the first rope as remark. Eurypilus his name, which I engrave In parts of my poems here or there: Which you well know and then in mind all save. The other one with flanks skinny and bare, Was Michael Scotto, who really had Of the sorcery frauds knowledge and care. See Guido Bonatti, Asdente bad, Who now to his leather and to his thread He would like to attend, but late is sad. See there the dreary ones who were misled From needle, pin and spool to be divine; They did then enchantments with herbs instead. But come yet now, because reaches confine Of both hemispheres and touches wave Down Seville Caino and forms of spine; And yet yesterday night full moon behaved; You should remember it then now so well Because in the dark wood your way it saved” So he, while going on, kept on to tell.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2014




Post Comments

Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth so only provide specific positive comments that indicate what you appreciate about the poem.

Please Login to post a comment

A comment has not been posted for this poem. Encourage a poet by being the first to comment.