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Dante's Love Poetry

Updated on July 18, 2015
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Gary R. Hess is the author of two poetry books, "Looking Glass" and "Poetic Night".

Dante Alighieri and Poetry

The relationship between Dante and poetry is quite simple, the popularity of one wouldn't be as great if the other didn't exist. Dante's "Divine Comedy" is considered one of the greatest literary works of all time. As an epic poem, it helped readers better visual the Christian afterlife and helped shape the view of the Western Church.

Dante's influence on world literature did not stop there. He was a prolific writer of love poetry. His poems, like "La Vita Nuova", are still recognized as one of the most influential in history.

Dante Alighieri's Life

A short biography

Dante was born on May 29, 1265 to a wealthy family in Florence, Italy. His father, Alighiero di Bellincione, remarried after his mother died just five years after Dante's birth.

Although not much is known about Dante's education, it is assumed he was taught at home and much about Tuscan poetry. In the "Divine Comedy", it is mentioned he received some education in music and painting. After his love's death, he turned to Latin literature and philosophical studies to pass the time.

Dante was not only a poet but a soldier. During the battle of Campaldino, on June 11, 1289, he fought with fellow Florentine knights against Arezzo and later escorted Carlo Martello d'Anjou. Afterwords, he became a doctor and pharmacist. During this time, books were sold at apothecaries' shops, so naturally, he took advantage of the opportunity.

Due to battles in Florence, Dante was sent to Rome as chief of delegations. Florence was soon taken, forcing Dante to stay in Rome. He petitioned King Henry VII to help retake the city, but after the King's death Dante lost hope for a return.

Prince Guido Novello da Polenta invited Dante to Ravenna, where he would finish "Paradise."

In 1321, Dante passed away (possibly from malaria).

Kindle Poetry Book

Poetic Night: Poems of Captivation
Poetic Night: Poems of Captivation

A child lost without answers. A teenager lost without direction. A young man lost without love. Poetic Night is a collection of Hess's greatest early poems.

 

My lady carries love within her eyes

translated by D.G. Rossetti

My lady carries love within her eyes;

All that she looks on is made pleasanter;

Upon her path men turn to gaze at her;

He whom she greeteth feels his heart to rise,

And droops his troubled visage, full of sighs,

And of his evil heart is then aware:

Hate loves, and pride becomes a worshiper.

O women, help to praise her in somewise.

Humbleness, and the hope that hopeth well,

By speech of hers into the mind are brought,

And who beholds is blessèd oftenwhiles,

The look she hath when she a little smiles

Cannot be said, nor holden in the thought;

'Tis such a new and gracious miracle.

My lady looks so gentle and so pure

translated by D.G. Rossetti

My lady looks so gentle and so pure

When yielding salutation by the way,

That the tongue trembles and has naught to say,

And the eyes, which fain would see, may not endure.

And still, amid the praise she hears secure

She walks with humbleness for her array;

Seeming a creature sent from Heaven to stay

On earth, and show a miracle made sure.

She is so pleasant in the eyes of men

That through the sight the inmost heart doth gain

A sweetness which needs proof to know it by:

And from between her lips there seems to move

A soothing essence that is full of love,

Saying for ever to the spirit, "Sigh!"

New Love and the Gentle

Love and the gentle heart are one same thing,

Even as the wise man in his ditty saith.

Each, of itself, would be such life in death

As rational soul bereft of reasoning.

'Tis Nature makes them when she loves: a king

Love is, whose palace where he sojourneth

Is call'd the Heart; there draws he quiet breath

At first, with brief or longer slumbering.

Then beauty seen in virtuous womankind

Will make the eyes desire, and through the heart

Send the desiring of the eyes again;

Where often it abides so long enshrined

That Love at length out of his sleep will start.

And women feel the same for worthy men.

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

Do You Have a Favorite Dante Poem?

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    • lovelylashes profile image

      lovelylashes 

      7 years ago

      Beautiful lens and excellent poetry! I'm surprised that he wrote love poems....

      Blessed by an angel

    • raffael lm profile image

      raffael lm 

      7 years ago

      So beautiful poems you've presented here. 5 stars for you. Have a great time.. garyr_h :)

    • LotusMalas profile image

      LotusMalas 

      8 years ago

      Wow! I did not know Dante wrote love poems! I love learning something new from a lens - great job!

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