New Lifeby Dante Alighieri
The New Life is an allegory of a soul's growth, and it introduced Dante's new poetic style likening love to a spiritual revelation. Combining prose and poetry, and fully realized by Rossetti's remarkable translation, this classic work of Dante's declaration of love for his muse Beatrice, is a masterpiece of spiritual literature.
“[Rossetti’s translation is] the fruit of countless hours of brooding over Italian painting, Italian images, Italian sounds and thoughts.” —John Wain
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Meet the Author
Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) was born into a noble family in Florence and settled in Ravenna after being exiled due to a bitter feud in his home city. Celebrated as a poet from his youth, when he was among those whose writings in Italian were applauded for their “sweet new style,” Dante was also an influential literary and political theorist. His most famous works are The New Life (circa 1293); De vulgari eloquentia (circa 1304–1307), a defense of the use of the vernacular in literature; and his epic vision of the afterlife, The Divine Comedy, which he began in 1307 and finished shortly before his death.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882), the son of an exiled Italian scholar and revolutionary, studied painting at the Royal Academy of Arts and was one of the founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Though he is best known as a painter, Rossetti was also a poet, and his poems, along with his translations of Dante and François Villon, made a lasting impression on such writers as Oscar Wilde, Walter Pater, and Ezra Pound.
Michael Palmer has published ten collections of poetry and taught at universities in the United States and Europe. He has worked extensively with contemporary dance and collaborated with numerous visual artists and composers. His most recent collections are Thread, Aygi Cycle, and The Laughter of the Sphinx (forthcoming in 2016).
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