Dante Alighieri was born in 1265. Considered Italy's greatest poet, this scion of a Florentine family mastered the art of lyric poetry at an early age. He is the author of the three canticles, The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradiso. Politically active in Florence, he was banished to Italy in 1302. In 1274, he met the great love of his life, Beatrice, whom he immortalized in La Vita Nuova (1292) and The Divine Comedy. He died in 1321.
"Dante and Shakespeare divide the world between them--there is no third."--T.S. Eliot
"Ciardi has given us...a credible, passionate persona of the
poet, stripped of the customary gauds of rhetoric and false
decoration, strong and noble in utterance."--Dudley Fitts "A
sensitive and perceptive translation...a spectacular
achievement."--Archibald MacLeish "I think [Ciardi's] version of
Dante will be in many respects the best we have seen."--John Crowe