Teaching Dante


Yesterday I returned to Waco after spending a week reading and discussing The Divine Comedy, with a eye toward how to teach Dante, in a summer seminar at Samford University. The following are some lines from the section of Purgatorio that I taught.

On this side, it removes as it flows down / all memory of sin; on that, it strengthens / the memory of every good deed done. (28.127-29)

And a sweet melody filled the bright air— / so sweet that I reproached in righteous zeal / Eve’s fatal recklessness. (29.22-24)

he left me and let others shape his will […] / He turned his steps aside from the True Way, / pursuing the false images of good / that promise what they never wholly pay. (30.126; 129-131)

I came back from those holiest waters new, / remade, reborn, like a sun-wakened tree / that spreads new foliage to the Spring dew / in sweetest freshness, healed of Winter’s scars; / perfect, pure, and ready for the Stars. (33.141-145)



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