Hell and Back Again

For those American Catholic readers who aren’t familiar with my previous online life, I’m on my third year of blogging through Dante’s Divine Comedy on my personal blog as a Lenten exercise. On the category page here you can find entries for the entirely of the Inferno and nearly all of Purgatorio, which I should be wrapping up by Easter.

Time and motivation permitting, I may start Paradiso during Easter season — or perhaps I’ll have to save that for next year. If you’re interested, feel free to stop by and read along in this timeless spiritual and literary classic during what remains of Lent.


3 Responses to Hell and Back Again

  1. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Audie Murphy and Dante, now that is a movie I wish that Hollywood had made!http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048729/

    Screenplay-To Hell and Back II-Scene 15

    “Dante, Vigil and Murphy are ambushed by a squad of SS Demons.
    Virgil: “Watch out Murph!”

    Murphy, using his spiritual tommy gun to blast the demons, : “Got ’em Virg, thanks!”

    Of the many translations of Dante I have sampled I prefer Laurence Binyon’s. Here is an Amazon list of other translations in English.


    Binyon, who served in World War I as an overage ambulance attendant on the Western Front was no mean poet himself:

    For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon

    With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
    England mourns for her dead across the sea.
    Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
    Fallen in the cause of the free.

    Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
    Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
    There is music in the midst of desolation
    And a glory that shines upon our tears.

    They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
    Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
    They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
    They fell with their faces to the foe.

    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.

    They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
    They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
    They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
    They sleep beyond England’s foam.

    But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
    Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
    To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
    As the stars are known to the Night;

    As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
    Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
    As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
    To the end, to the end, they remain.

  2. karen says:

    Thank you so much for the link! Its just what I have been looking for!

  3. Zach says:

    Your meditation has been very helpful, and it is excellent motivation to pursue a study myself.

    Thank you.

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