Dante Alighieri is well-known for his “La Divina Commedia.” During his life, he wrote more. This is the poem “Love and the gentle heart.”
About the poem
When reading this poem, you might relate this to a fairytale. The story of “The Sleeping Beauty” (“Little Briar Rose”). Don’t worry! You’re not the only one who compares this poem to the fairytale. This is because of the description that Alighieri gives in this poem. Love is dormant and passion can only be awakened by falling in love. You might want to go further: a certain moment in time can cause the passion to rise or to thrive. This happens when the prince kisses the princess.
There is also one important comparison you don’t want to miss: falling in love is like waking up.
It takes some deep soul searching and carefully listening to your heart when you write words such as Dante Alighieri did ages ago. He left us an eternal poem. Love can conquer everything. That’s for sure. If you’re willing to take it a step further, look beyond the man-woman-reference, you will see that this is truly a love poem!
Love and the gentle heart
Love and the gentle heart
Love and the gentle heart are one thing,
just as the poet says in his verse,
each from the other one as well divorced
as reason from the mind’s reasoning. Nature craves love, and then creates love king,
and makes the heart a palace where he’ll stay,
perhaps a shorter or a longer day,
breathing quietly, gently slumbering. Then beauty in a virtuous woman’s face
makes the eyes yearn, and strikes the heart,
so that the eyes’ desire’s reborn again,
and often, rooting there with longing, stays, Till love, at last, out of its dreaming starts.
Woman’s moved likewise by a virtuous man.
— Dante Alighieri
Who was Dante Alighieri?
Many refer to Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri as Dante Alighieri or Dante. He was born in the year 1265 and is mostly known for the “Divina Commedia” (“Divine Comedy”).
His poetry is well-known and some consider Divina Commedia (the original title was Comedia) is considered as the most important Christian poetry work of the Middle Ages and the most important work ever written in the Italian language.
Dante wrote his words in the language of the people (vernacular; everyday speech) instead of Latin, like many other writers of his time, did. He even wrote about the importance of this everyday speech in literature in “De vulgari eloquentia” (“On Eloquence in the Vernacular”). To be precise, he used the Tuscan language.
He was also a philosopher and politician. He was eventually expelled from Florence because of his political beliefs. The Divine Comedy was a work he wrote when he was in exile. He died in 1321. It’s believed that he wrote this masterpiece in the literature somewhere between 1307 and 1321.