Dante, Inferno Canto 28 (4th part)

I know what I saw,
And you can doubt it if you want. You have not been there,
I stand by my memory, I can still see it now.
Lastly, Hell’s scientists had their crowning glory,

A body, a man, nothing unusual in that,
Walking no differently to its colleague sinners,
Except in his hand he was swinging a lantern,
And there was the head.

Holofernes walking and talking.
The body, the mind, dissected, one made two, but still one,
Impossible, except here. Except here.

He reached the start of the bridge,
And even, to make it easier for him to be heard,
He held up his head.

—You, who view the dead with breath yet in your body,
See the punishment, think on it,
Is any other as terrible as this?

And, regathering,

—I am Bertran de Born, a baron, and you might say a simple troubadour,
But politics entered, I waded in,
Urged the young prince Henri on, with bad advice.
Urged him against his father, the king, Henri Plantagenet
– Of Anjou, Normandy and England, the same
As fostered by Beckett, only to turn against him.
In fact, I exploited the whole situation with brothers, Richard
Like Ahitophel when he goaded Absalom to rebel against David,
I broke the sacred bond between parent and child,
And so must be severed myself, carry my own evil brain with me
In me, you see schism.

0 thoughts on “Dante, Inferno Canto 28 (4th part)

  1. Much more accessible than your standard; I like it. I also like your standard material, but find it difficult to comprehend to my own satisfaction. I end up reading with my cognitive faculties disengaged, which is fine, but makes me dizzy after a while. 🙂 Any who, this is a good one…. I’m glad I follow your blog; it keeps my head nimble….


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