Soldier, politician and exiled poet

Originally posted a few years ago… .

IMG_0799I’m currently reading – only a few cantos left of Paradiso – part of The Divine Comedy by Dante which I read a few years ago in Oman but it all went way over my head. I have read it again these past few weeks aided by a decent translation with insightful introductions and commentaries and have discovered a theology that has stood, more or less, the test of time. Over seven hundred years in fact. Not bad considering the poet dealt with philosophy, science, theology, politics, culture, society, myths, The Greeks, The Romans, love and God. And all of it in a Tuscan vernacular verse that became the standard Italian which Italians speak today. Dante broke new ground and remains a beacon of light for atheists and agnostics alike. If you fall into one of these unfortunate self-inflicted categories it might prove wise to switch off the television, radio, computer, Ipad, Iphone, mobile telephone; stop reading the newspapers; and read a book that offers the reader an eternal choice. It has been said that rational knowledge is not the ultimate purpose of human existence. After reading the poetry of Dante, and a sublime commentary by Robin Kirkpatrick, I can only agree.


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