This widely praised version of Dante's masterpiece, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award of the Academy of American Poets, is more idiomatic and approachable than its many predecessors. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Pinsky employs slant rhyme and near rhyme to preserve Dante's terza rima form without distorting the flow of English idiom. The result is a clear and vigorous translation that is also unique, student-friendly, and faithful to the original: "A brilliant success," as Bernard Knox wrote in The New York Review of Books.
About the Author
Dante Alighieri, or simply Dante (1265 – 1321), was an Italian poet from Florence. His central work, the Divina Commedia (originally called "Commedia" and later called "Divina" (divine) by Boccaccio hence "Divina Commedia"), is considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature.
Robert Pinsky is the author of several books of poetry, including Gulf Music, Jersey Rain, The Want Bone, The Figured Wheel, and, most recently, At the Foundling Hospital. His bestselling translation The Inferno of Dante sets a modern standard. He was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 1997 to 2000. Among his awards and honors are the William Carlos Williams Award, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the PEN/Voelcker Award, the Korean Manhae Prize, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the PEN American Center. He teaches in the graduate creative writing program at Boston University.
Michael Mazur illustrated The Inferno of Dante from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
“Splendid . . . Pinsky's verse translation is fast-paced, idiomatic, and accurate. It moves with the concentrated gait of a lyric poem . . . It maintains the original's episodic and narrative velocity while mirroring its formal shape and character . . . Pinsky succeeds in creating a supple American equivalent for Dante's vernacular music where many others have failed.” —Edward Hirsch, The New Yorker
“Pinsky's rare gifts as a poet, a wild imagination disciplined by an informed commitment to technical mastery, are superbly well suited to the Inferno's immense demands. Pinsky has managed to capture the poem's intense individuality, passion, and visionary imagery. This translation is wonderfully alert to Dante's strange blend of fierceness and sympathy, clear-eyed lucidity and heart-stopping wonder. It is now the premier modern text for readers to experience Dante's power.” —Stephen Greenblatt
“A new translation of Dante's classic poem uses slant rhyme and near rhyme to preserve the original terza rima form without distorting the English meaning, providing a lively and faithful rendition of the poem. ” —Ingram