Una commedia divina, Arianna Caldarella (lyrics) and Corrado Neri (music), 2015

One of the performances at the 58th annual Zecchino d’Oro (an international children’s music festival), held in Bologna in 2015, was “Una commedia divina,” with music by Corrado Neri, text by Arianna Caldarella. It was performed by Andrea Amelio and Chiara Casolari (pictured below), together with the Piccolo Coro “Mariele Ventre” dell’Antoniano.

Zecchino-d'oro-commedia-divina-SingersThe Zecchino d’Oro website describes the song as follows: “Originale rivisitazione a misura di bambino di uno dei più grandi capolavori della letteratura italiana: la Divina Commedia. L’amore di Dante per Beatrice si carica di un’energia tutta nuova, fresca e vivace, e prende vita sotto forma di un linguaggio semplice e dotato di una punta di ironia, concedendo anche ai più piccoli di addentrarsi nel favoloso mondo del ‘sommo poeta.’ Il brano si propone inoltre di omaggiare in musica Dante Alighieri nell’anno in cui si celebra il 750° anniversario della sua nascita.”

The full text of the song is available on the Zecchino d’Oro website (with videos) and at si24.it.

Parenting Circles of Hell: The Supermarket

“It is a well known fact that The Supermarket is in fact the seventh circle of hell for parents of toddlers. And pre-schoolers. And primary, secondary… oh stuff it, most kids. Shopping with kids full stop is a particular pain that most of us dread but for some reason, The Supermarket is a special, fire-burning hell that should only be braved by the thick of skin and girded of loin.” — Kate Dyson, The Motherload, February 9, 2018

Read the full article here.

The Tenth Circle: Bedtime

“Bedtime – the hour that we spend all day counting down to. The curtain call to our kids’ shitty antics and incessant demands, so we can finally pour ourselves a drink and peruse Netflix for that perfect movie or show to serve as background noise while we scroll Facebook and fall asleep on the couch. Except bedtime is almost never the time we parents have chosen for bed. Oh, no. Kids are determined to not go gentle into that good night and to rage against the dying of the light.

“While most just flip their kids the bird under their throw blanket when little Jimmy comes stomping down the stairs for another goddamned glass of water, funny parents on Twitter are tweeting what we’re all thinking.

“Twitter parents know. Twitter parents understand. Twitter parents are also losing their effing minds one failed bedtime routine after another.”    –Serena Dorman, Sammiches & Psych Meds, 2017.

You can check out all twenty-two tweets here.

Seven Circles of Baby Class Hell

“As any self-assured stranger will tell you, babies need to be socialised if they’re to grow into well-rounded adults, skilled in the arts of compromise, empathy, and not interfering in other people’s business at bus stops. A fun way to do this, and to meet other like-minded (baby-brained) mummies, is to enroll your child in a class. There are a multitude to choose from, all intended to maximise the potential for parental humiliation. But which to go for? Here are seven popular contenders to consider…” — Tina Bored, Metro, April 8, 2015

Read the full list here.

Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell if He Were a Parent Today

“As parents there are a lot of things we smile our way through for the love of little John and Jane when, if we’re honest, we’d rather be getting a root canal. If Dante

lived today and wrote his famous literary tome Inferno from the perspective of a parent, the eternal punishments doled out in his nine circles of hell might look something like this…” — This Michigan Life, October 8, 2013

Find out Dante’s Nine Circles of Parenting Hell by reading the full article here.



Paolo and Francesca Bears

paolo-and-francesca-bears“Paolo looks handsome and energetic in a green knitted jumper, with his named embroidered across the front. Francesca looks ‘bella’ in her red knitted jumper, and is delighted that her name is clearly embroidered on the front. Both bears are a wonderful support in the classroom. They bring a real Italian flavour and excitement into school and really adore being with the children.”    —Golden Daffodils

Dale E. Basye, “Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go” Series

dale-e-basye-heck-where-the-bad-kids-go-seriesHeck: Where Bad Kids Go is a series of books that seems to have drawn heavy inspiration from Dante’s Inferno. After the first installment in the series, each subsequent book is focused on a specific “circle of Heck.” The characters’ names seem to draw inspiration from different sources of “infernal” literature – more specifically, Dante, Milton, and Goethe: Virgil, Milton, and Fauster, for example. At one point in the series, the protagonists have to cross “the great tunnel of dung-the River Styx, the final, fecal resting place of all the world’s sewage.”

Contributed by Gianluca P., 4th grade

The Nine Circles of Hell, as Depicted in LEGO (2012)


“Here’s a series of play sets that won’t be debuting in the toy aisle anytime soon. Sculptor Mihai Mihu has built this fantastic and creepy nine-part collection of LEGO dioramas based on Dante Alighieri’s Inferno. Witness the Divine Comedy depicted in tiny plastic bricks, from the River Styx to the frozen head of Satan.” [. . .]   –Cyriaque Lamar, io9, May 12, 2012

Contributed by Carol Chiodo

See also:
The Telegraph, August 17, 2013 (note that in slide 10, the artist says that he knew the structure of Dante’s vision of hell, but that he didn’t read the Commedia, because he wanted to imagine his own version of punishments for each given sin/s)

Contributed by Leslie Morgan

Dante Sneakers for Kids


(Photo by Liza Dey of Dante’s Inferno Spookhouse, Coney Island, NY)

See other Dante themed T-shirts, posters, mugs, postcards, etc. at  Zazzle.

Contributed by Virginia Jewiss (Humanities Program, Yale University)

John Agard and Satoshi Kitamura, “The Young Inferno” (2008)

john-agard-and-satoshi-kitamura-the-young-inferno-2008“A funky and powerful book. Agard takes Dante’s famous poem about a visit to Hell and reworks it to appeal to today’s youngsters, mingling 21st Century street cred with ancient mythology. Kitamura’s stylized black and white illustrations draw the reader effortlessly in.” [. . .]    —Amazon

Contributed by Virginia Jewiss (Humanities Program, Yale University)