Analects of the Core: Dante on recreating memory

Day was departing, and the darkening air
Called all earth’s creatures to their evening quiet
While I alone was preparing as though for war

To struggle with my journey and with the spirit
Of pity, which flawless memory will redraw:
O Muses, O genius of art, O memory whose merit

Has inscribed inwardly those things I saw–
Help me fulfill the perfection of your nature.

Lo giorno se n’andava, e l’aere bruno
toglieva li animai che sono in terra
da le fatiche loro; e io sol uno

m’apparecchiava a sostener la guerra
sì del cammino e sì de la pietate,
che ritrarrà la mente che non erra.

O muse, o alto ingegno, or m’aiutate;
o mente che scrivesti ciò ch’io vidi,
qui si parrà la tua nobilitate.

– from The Inferno of Dante, translated by Robert Pinsky, Canto II / pg. 15. Italian source: DivineComedy.org

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