I’ve been feeling a little irate of late, so it’s fitting that today Dante arrives in the circle of ‘Inferno’ reserved for:
“the souls of those whom anger overcame”
which in Dante’s Italian is
“l’anime di color cui vinse l’ira”.
Not so hard, that bit, is it?
And note – ‘ira’, translated by Longfellow (or a passing Italian waitress) as ‘anger’.
Though he could equally have chosen ‘ire’ (as in ‘irate’ above) or better, perhaps, ‘rage’, ‘fury’ or in my particular case ‘temper’.
Dante’s other target today, besides splenetic bloggers and trolls (we’ll be biting chunks out of each other in a muddy puddle in hell), is the Catholic Church, which had an image problem even in the fourteenth century.
He mentions ‘cherci’, who don’t have a hairy hat on their head. ‘Bald’ then.
“Questi fuor cherci, che non han coperchio
piloso al capo”
Longfellow’s Italian cleaning lady translated this as ‘clerks’:
“Clerks those were who no hairy covering
Have on the head,”
But our Francesca explains in her notes to Canto VII that it means ‘priests’, and in fact the next line refers to the Popes and Cardinals, also to be found in hell due to their avarice.
So ‘cherci’ has to be ‘clerics’, no?
‘Inferno’ is getting to be more fun than I’d imagined…
Check out today’s extracts from Canto VII here.
And here are the links to the others:
Saturday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news has some GOOD NEWS at last!
Youth unemployment has fallen to just 28%, meaning that only between a quarter and a third of young Italians have no job, no income and no future.
Which reminds me of a poem I wrote back at Easter, now illustrated by the Club’s talented graphic designer, Anya Lauri, who’s helping me prepare an ebook of poems. Read it here: Good news story