Now Reading – The Paradiso


With the completion of the second canticle, The Purgatorio, of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, I will now finish the epic by reading the third canticle, The Paradiso.  As with the previous canticles, I will be reading the Barnes and Noble Classics version of the book, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Here is what the back cover of the book states:

Dante’s Paradiso, often thrown into shadow by the first two parts of The Divine Comedy, features one of the most sublime, luminous, and exciting visions in all of literature–that of Heaven itself.

Having climbed the mountain of Purgatory, Dante begins to ascend the heights of the universe with his beloved Beatrice as guide.  They soar through the nine spheres of heaven–the moon, Mercury, Venus, the sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the stars, and the Primum Mobile.  Along the way Dante meets people he knew on Earth, who now appear as dazzling jewels, and many others whom he had always wanted to meet, such as Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Bonaventure, and his great-great-grandfather.  Finally, Dante reaches heaven, where incredibly beautiful scenes–brilliant lights and colors, and flowering gardens–unfold before his eyes, always accompanied by celestial music.  heaven, he learns, is not a place of boring rest, but one of joyful activity, dancing and singing, and endless movement and surprises.

A poem of true heroic fulfillment, The Paradiso stands as one of literature’s greatest hymns to the glory of God.

I have enjoyed the previous canticles of this great work, and I hold high hopes for the conclusion.  Hopefully, it will be as good of a journey as the previous canticles.  I’m looking forward to making this journey through Dante’s Paradiso.

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About Jeremy

Husband, book lover, Civil War Buff. If I could read for a living I would, but unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills!

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