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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Lake of the Frozen Dead

In the book trilogy the Divine Comedy, author/poet Dante Alighieri takes people through the world of allegory, where our behaviors are punished and/or rewarded in fashions the reader is meant to visualize.   Traitors are found in the 9th circle of Hell, the most painful and devastating consequence for a person's sins.  Frozen, suffering, silent, the echoes of the acts of one's life choices plays on in this miserable place.  Satan/Lucifer is punished here as well, being that he is considered to have betrayed God, in the ultimate betrayal of all existence.  Dante and poet Virgil walk the surface of the lake, looking at the frozen flesh below, encased in their sin, freezing them in the moment of treachery.

S'i' credesse che mia risposta fosse
a persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
questa fiamma staria sanza più scosse;
ma però che già mai di questo fondo
non tornò vivo alcun, s'i' odo il vero,
sanza tema d'infamia ti rispondo.
 
If I thought my answer were to one
who would ever return to the world,
this flame should stay without another movement; but since none
ever returned alive from thisdepth, if what I hear is true,
I answer thee without fear of infamy.



 
Tra le gambe pendevan le minugia;
la corata pareva e 'l tristo sacco
che merda fa di quel che si trangugia.
 
Between his legs were hanging down his entrails;
His heart was visible, and the dismal sack
that maketh excrement of what is eaten.

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