“Black, a distinguished psychoanalyst as well as a poet, provides an introduction and commentary to this masterpiece by Dante from a contemporary point of view in this bilingual edition.” [. . .] —Amazon (retrieved on October 20, 2021)
“Lines & Faces, the collaboration of artist/printer Robert Woods and writer/translator Alan Bern, is engaged in a project based on Dante’s Commedia: illustrated broadsides available to view at linesandfaces.com/divine-comedy. In these broadsides we attempt to capture and respond to central moments within Dante’s canti. As a poet and translator, Alan enjoys responding to Robert’s images in both our Dante work and in other projects (also available on our website, linesandfaces.com). At other times Robert responds to Alan’s words. We also work on parallel tracks and combine our work successfully. All three modes function very well after almost fifty years of producing broadsides together.
“In working to capture these Dante moments, we operate in a mode similar to that of haiku writers and haiga artists. Robert and Alan decide together on small sections of Dante and respond to them: Alan translates them into poetry (the middle panels), and then he creates a modern association to his work (the third panels). Robert creates a graphic work that illuminates the chosen moment,and he pulls all the elements together with his broadside design.” –Alan Bern, in private email communication
In addition to their illustrations and translations from the Commedia we invite Dante Today readers to check out Bern’s translation of Dante’s sestina Al poco giorno e al gran cerchio d’ombra with an accompanying image from Woods.
Contributed by Alan Bern
“Dante’s Purgatorio has been described as the most ‘human’ of the three parts of his Comedy, and it can also be seen as a ‘singing school’ for poets. This new complete translation by sixteen contemporary poets enters into dialogue with Dante’s text by rendering it in a variety of different Anglophone voices – American, Australian, British, Irish, Jamaican, Scottish and Singaporean. The poets in this Purgatorio adopt a range of forms, from blank verse to terza rima, and their translations are accompanied by explanatory notes, a ‘prelude’ of poems about Purgatory, and a ‘postscript’ of newly-translated medieval Italian lyrics relating to Dante and his poem.” —Arc Publications and Amazon
Edited by Nick Havely with Bernard O’Donoghue
“Nel 700° anniversario della morte di Dante Alighieri, siamo qui sul palco del teatro dell’Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Istanbul, con una lettura drammatica della Divina Commedia.
“L’attore Nuri Karadeniz declama in turco (sottotitoli in italiano) il Primo Canto dell’Inferno mentre il musicista Yiğit Özatalay eseguirà al piano sue composizioni jazz originali scritte per l’occasione.”
The performance is preceded by a short lecture (in Italian with Turkish subtitles) by Salvatore Schirmo, Director of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Istanbul, who highlights the influence of Dante and his works on contemporary Turkish literature and culture. The video premiered on YouTube on Dantedì (March 25) 2021.
“Gustave Doré’s Beatrice is disappointingly bland, a strapping damsel in a nightgown, not that fierce beauty whose name the poet can barely utter. His angels, however, are sublime. It was important to me that we have an uplifting image on the cover, Dante being so associated with the infernal regions and the austere features of his face (which the large B was originally to have overlaid). A comedy is, of course, a story that ends well, and what better end could there be than coming face to face with ‘eternal light’? Such is, moreover, the ‘joy that man is meant for.’
[. . .]
“B was supposed to have come out in 2020, seven hundred years after the original’s probable 1320 completion (this latter number inscribing itself, miraculously, into the actual structure of the poem). Yet, happily perhaps, and due only to a delay in the editing process, it is instead appearing on the 700th anniversary of not only Dante’s death but the last Cathar’s prophecy – spoken from the flames – that ‘in seven hundred years the laurel will grow green again.’ It is also May, month of the Virgin, with the sun having just entered Gemini (Dante’s natal star and mine).” —Ned Denny for Carcanet Press, describing B (After Dante), his 2021 translation/adaptation of Dante’s Divine Comedy
“Published to coincide with the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, Ned Denny’s baroque, line-by-line reimagining – the follow-up to his Seamus Heaney Prize-winning collection Unearthly Toys – shapes the Divine Comedy into nine hundred 144-syllable stanzas. Audacious, provocative and eminently readable, tender and brutal by turns, rooted in sacred doctrine yet with one eye on the profane modern world, this poet’s version – in the interpretative tradition of Chapman, Dryden and Pope – is a living, breathing Dante for our times. Hell has never seemed so savage, nor heaven so sublime.” —Carcanet Press
Purchase B (After Dante) from Carcanet Press here.
Read Denny’s full blogpost here.