All posts tagged: bits and pieces

Two sestinas

‘Sestina’ by Dante Alighieri I have come, alas, to the great circle of shadow, to the short day and to the whitening hills, when the colour is all lost from the grass, though my desire will not lose its green, so rooted is it in this hardest stone, that speaks and feels as though it were a woman. And likewise this heaven-born woman stays frozen, like the snow in shadow, and is unmoved, or moved like a stone, by the sweet season that warms all the hills, and makes them alter from pure white to green, so as to clothe them with the flowers and grass. When her head wears a crown of grass she draws the mind from any other woman, because she blends her gold hair with the green so well that Amor lingers in their shadow, he who fastens me in these low hills, more certainly than lime fastens stone. Her beauty has more virtue than rare stone. The wound she gives cannot be healed with grass, since I have travelled, through the plains and hills, to find …