Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Kiss II - Dante Alighieri

Dore Paolo and Francesca I

I was reading a book with collected love poems when i was struck -again- by an exerpt from Dante Alighieri’s Purgatory ‘Inferno V.127 - 138’. The story about lovers ‘Paola en Francesca’. Inspired by this history Rodin made his famous statue ‘The Kiss’..

Exerpt from Inferno V

[...]"Poet, I should willingly
speak with those two who go together there
and seem so lightly carried by the wind."

"One day, to pass the time away, we read
of Lancelot-how love had overcome him.
We were alone, and we suspected nothing.

And time and time again that reading led
our eyes to meet, and made our faces pale,
and yet one point alone defeated us.

When we had read how the desired smile
was kissed by one who was so true a lover,
this one, who never shall be parted from me,

while all his body trembled, kissed my mouth.
A Gallehault indeed, that book and he
who wrote it, too; that day we read no more."

And while one spirit said these words to me,
the other wept, so that-because of pity-
I fainted, as if I had met my death.

And then I fell as a dead body falls.

A Dutch Translation

"Wij lazen op een dag voor ons genoegen
van Lanceloot, hoe hem de liefde omstrikte;
we waren heel alleen en zonder argwaan.

De lezing van het boek deed meerdre malen
ons de ogen opslaan en van kleur verandren;
maar één plaats was 't, die ons heeft overwonnen.

Want toen we lazen, hoe 't begeerde lachje
werd weggekust door zulk een vurig minnaar,
bedekte hij, die nooit mij wordt ontnomen,

al bevend mij de mond met zoete kussen.
Een koppelaar was 't boek, maar ook zijn dichter.
Niet verder hebben wij die dag gelezen".
(Transl. Christinus Kops)

EnglishTranslation can be found on;

About ‘The Kiss’ visit


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