It Speaks Of You

Dante Alighieri (1265 – 1321)

La Vita Nuova

In that book which is
My memory . . .
On the first page
That is the chapter when
I first met you
Appear the words . . .
Here begins a new life.

Dante Alighieri

Autumn Song

by Dante Alighieri

Know’st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the heart feels a languid grief
Laid on it for a covering,
And how sleep seems a goodly thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?
And how the swift beat of the brain
Falters because it is in vain,
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf
Knowest thou not? and how the chief
Of joys seems–not to suffer pain?
Know’st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the soul feels like a dried sheaf
Bound up at length for harvesting,
And how death seems a comely thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?


The Divine Comedy continues to entertain readers around the world seven hundred years after the poet’s death.  The book was being circulated in manuscripts in 1321, before Dante’s death, but was not published and widely available until nearly a 100 years later. His son Jacopo and other Italian scholars who had access to hand written copies wrote critiques praising the work as early as 1324.   Dante named the work his “Comedy”, but it was Boccacio in 1350 who conjoined the word “Divine” to the title, in admiration of Dante’s brilliance.  2021 marks the 700 year anniversary of the Dante’s death and his popularity and influence on the literary world still burns bright.   Dante uses precise rhyme and meter in his prose, so it’s no surprise he penned many sonnets in his lifetime.   His poetry and his master piece the Divine Comedy, largely focus on one theme; love.  


There Is A Gentle Thought

by Dante Alighieri

There is a gentle thought that often springs
to life in me, because it speaks of you.
Its reasoning about love’s so sweet and true,
the heart is conquered, and accepts these things.
‘Who is this’ the mind enquires of the heart,
‘who comes here to seduce our intellect?
Is his power so great we must reject
every other intellectual art?
The heart replies ‘O, meditative mind
this is love’s messenger and newly sent
to bring me all Love’s words and desires.
His life, and all the strength that he can find,
from her sweet eyes are mercifully lent,
who feels compassion for our inner fires.