“Compagno di scuola” by Antonello Venditti (1975)

From the 1975 song “Compagno di scuola” by Antonello Venditti:

“E la Divina Commedia, sempre più commedia
al punto che ancora oggi io non so
Antonello-Venditti-Compagno-di-Scuola-Divina-Commediase Dante era un uomo libero, un fallito o un servo di partito, o un servo di partito.
Ma Paolo e Francesca, quelli io me li ricordo bene
perché, ditemi, chi non si è mai innamorato
di quella del primo banco,
la più carina, la più cretina,
cretino tu, che rideva sempre
proprio quando il tuo amore aveva le stesse parole,
gli stessi respiri del libro che leggevi di nascosto
sotto il banco.”

Listen to the song on YouTube.

Lyrics from AngoloTesti.

Contributed by Alessandra Mazzocchi (Florida State University ’19)

Andrew Frisardi, poem (2015)


Retired from Hell, Paolo Says It Was Heaven

Inferno
V

Aroused beside her, I went mute
because my every word was pinned
to shredded semaphores of wind,
and my resistance now was moot.
Her gentleness put on a storm.
Beauty without a stitch of cloth’s
a bonfire crackling with moths.
I rose and tumbled with her form.
She flared. Maybe I seemed depraved
to those who watch the sun’s eclipse
through a glass, darkly, but I caved
in, helpless, when she twitched her hips.
Our favored region was the nether
as we held tight against the weather.

Measure: A Review of Formal Poetry,
 vol. 10, no. 2  (2015)

Valentino Dress at the Met Gala 2016

rachel-mcadams-a8082593-a8f5-492c-a745-1b9a9c7dd859

Rachel McAdams in a gold-beaded Valentino dress with lines from Dante’s Divine Comedy.    —US Magazine, May 2, 2016

Contributed by Donatella Stocchi-Perucchio

“Francesca Says More” by Olena Kalytiak Davis

“that maiden thump was book on floor, butOlena-Kalytiak-Davis-Francesca-Says-More-Dante
does it really matter who kissed who
first or then who decided to go further?
lower? faster? naturally, we took
turns on top. now here, now there, and up
and down… once it started no one even thought to think to stop.
so, we have holes inside our souls,
but mustn’t we begin by filling others’?
god gave us lips and hands and parts
that cannot possibly be saved for prayer. nor by.
i will not name name, claim fame by how well
or who i fucked or why, it happens all the time.
and it’s you, white pilgrim, whom next galehot seeks.

fuck. we didn’t read again for weeks.”

“Francesca Says More,” from The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems by Olena Kalytiak Davis

Of the poem, Dan Chiasson (The New Yorker) comments, “The speaker is a contemporary version of Dante’s tragic heroine Francesca, condemned to suffer in Hell with her lover, Paolo. The form — a form that Dante helped to invent — is the sonnet, here reduced to its rudiments: fourteen lines, a rumor of pentameter, a tart couplet at the close. The poem, one of Davis’s many ‘shattered sonnets,’ as she has called them, draws these lines in order to color outside of them; her small ‘i’ isn’t so much an homage to Cummings as it is a nod to text messages and Gchat, forms of written communication that operate under the conditions of instantaneousness previously reserved for speech. It was reading about the romance of Lancelot and Guinevere, as Dante tells us, that got Francesca in trouble to begin with; it was reading Francesca’s story about the dangers of reading that resulted in the book’s ‘maiden thump’ as it was unceremoniously kicked off the bed and replaced by the book Davis wrote.” — Dan Chiasson, “You and Me Both,” The New Yorker (Dec. 8, 2014)

Contributed by Silvia Valisa (Florida State University)

Jovanotti, “Serenata Rap” (1994)

Serenata RapItalian singer-songwriter Lorenzo “Jovanotti” Cherubini‘s 1994 song “Serenata Rap” contains a famous line from Inferno V: “Amor ch’a nullo amato amar perdona”.

 

To watch the music video, click here.

To view the song’s lyrics, click 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

Sante Maurizi, “Paolo e Francesca” (2000-2001)

sante-maurizi-paolo-e-francesca-2000-2001-la-botte-e-il-cilindro-theater-sassari-sardinia

“Paolo e Francesca” is a journey through the different ways in which the story told by Dante in Inferno V has be represented in visual art, theater, poetry, etc.

See La Botta e il Cilindro for information on the play and a wonderful collection of illustrations of the Paolo and Francesca scene from Inf. V.