Canto 23, Paradiso, Dante

Posted: April 1, 2018 in Chat
Tags: , , , ,

For some time I have been searching for an uplifting text, something that affects one’s in-most being.
It may be this, Canto 23, of Dante’s Paradiso.

You need to ignore the Christian references, characters – and read it as an uplift of spirit.
Can this uplift still exist outside of established religions?
Were not all religions originally attempts to address this need in a person? Before they became political, dictatorial, self-serving, and down-right corrupting, that is.

Canto 23, in part

Even as a bird, among the leaves she loves,
settles upon the nest of her sweet brood
throughout the night, which hides things from our eyes

and then — that she may see their longed for looks,
and find the food wherewith to nourish them,
in doing which she deems hard work a pleasure —

comes forth betimes upon an outer branch,
and gazing steadfastly with burning love,
waits for the sun till break of dawn; so stood

my Lady, toward that region turned intent,
’neath which the sun
appears to show least haste;

hence I, on seeing her absorbed in thought,
became like one who, yearning with desire
for other things, contents himself with hope.

But little time elapsed between each ‘when,’
I mean from when I waited, till the sky
I saw grow more and more suffused with light.

Then Beatrice exclaimed: “Behold the hosts
of Christ’s victorious triumph, and all the fruit
ingathered by the circling of these spheres!”

To me her countenance seemed all on fire,
and so replete with happiness her eyes,
that I must pass without describing them.

As, when in cloudless skies the moon is full,
Trìvia among those nymphs eternal smiles,                                Trivia/Diana
who deck with light the whole expanse of heaven;

so I, above a thousand thousand lamps,
beheld a Sun which kindled one and all,
as our sun kindles all the stars on high;

and through the living light the Shining Substance
was so transparent, and so brightly shone
upon my face, that I endured it not.

O Beatrice, thou dear and gentle Guide!
“That which o’erwhelms thee is a Power,” she said,
“against which nothing can defend itself.

This is the Wisdom, this the Virtue is,
which opened wide the road ’tween Heaven and earth,
which was in olden times so long desired.”

As fire is liberated from a cloud,
when so dilating that it finds no room,
and falls, against its nature, to the earth;

even so my mind, as it became enlarged
among those viands, issued from itself;
but what it then became, can not recall.



For a worthy examination of this Canto, see:

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