Something alarmingly contemporary about this polluted surface in Dante’s Inferno, especially when he discerns, through the miasma, dead souls fleeing.

“Now train your gaze across that scum-skinned tide,”

He said to me as he set my eyes free,

“To where the fog is thickest.”  As the snake,

Their enemy, sends frogs down fading through

The water to the bottom of the lake

To squat and wait, so I now had in view

More than a thousand dead souls fleeing.’

See also our illustrated quote-rich celebration of Dante’s Divine Comedy in Clive James’ superb translation. 


Source: Dante, The Divine Comedy (Inferno, book 9), trans. Clive James (New York: Liveright Publishing, 2013), p. 47


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