Martin Robertson

Now and Then

Two Glimpses from Dante’s Hell

I.  Accidie

“Joy we denied,”

they mutter in the mud, “out there

in the sweet air which takes delight in the sun,

secreted smog within.

Now, here,

under the black, thick tide

we learn

all about despair.”

II.  Brunetto Latini under the Fire-Rain

He ran like those who race for the cloth-of-green

through the fields outside Verona,

and among those runners he seemed

not to be one of the losers, but the winner.