Best quotes from Dante

Portrait_de_DanteDante degli Alighieri (1265 – 1321) is universally acknowledged as the most influential Italian poet. His works, particularly La Divina Comedia have served as a unifying force behind modern Italian language. Despite being seven hundred years old, Dante’s texts are still easy comprehend and they delight those who read them in the original language. Among numerous quotes from Dante, so many of which are instantly recognizable by someone versed in Italian literature, there are several that transcend cultures and borders. These quotes have been compiled here, with corresponding English translations, to make everyone’s life easier!

From the Divine Comedy (La Divina Comedia)

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita,
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita. (Inferno Canto I, lines 1-3.)

When I had journeyed half of our life’s way,
I found myself within a shadowed forest,
for I had lost the path that does not stray.

Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate. (Inferno Canto III, line 9.)

Abandon all hope, you who enter here.

Nessun maggior dolore
Che ricordarsi del tempo felice
Nella miseria. (Inferno Canto V, lines 121-123.)

There is no greater sorrow
Than to be mindful of the happy time
In misery.

Necessità ‘l ci ‘nduce, e non diletto. (Inferno Canto XII, line 87.)

Necessity brings him here, not pleasure.

O dignitosa coscïenza, e netta,
come t’è picciol fallo amaro morso! (Purgatorio Canto III, lines 8-9.)

O conscience, upright and stainless, how bitter sting to thee is a little fault!

Quanto in femmina fuoco d’amor dura,
Se l’occhio o ‘l tatto spesso nol raccende. (Purgatorio Canto VIII, lines 77-78)

How brief a blaze a woman’s love will yield
If not relit by frequent touch and sight.

O gente umana, per volar sù nata,
perché a poco vento così cadi? (Purgatorio Canto XII, lines 95-96.)

O human race, born to fly upward, wherefore at a little wind dost thou so fall?

La gloria di colui che tutto move
per l’universo penetra, e risplende
in una parte piú e meno altrove. (Paradiso Canto I, lines 1-3.)

The glory of Him who moves everything penetrates through the universe, and is resplendent in one part more and in another less.

L’esperîenza
di questa dolce vita. (Paradiso Canto XX, lines 47-48.)

The experience of this sweet life.

A l’alta fantasia qui mancò possa;
ma già volgeva il mio disio e ‘l velle,
sì come rota ch’igualmente è mossa,

l’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.  (Paradiso Canto XXXIII 142-145)

Here vigour failed the lofty fantasy:
But now was turning my desire and will,
Even as a wheel that equally is moved,

The Love which moves the sun and the other stars.

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