Finally finished Paradiso. It’s hard not to be moved by the sheer ambition of this poem, not to be heartbroken at the thought of the human who wrote it. Here are my favorite lines from the final canto.
Thus the sun unseals an imprint in the snow.
Thus the Sybyl’s oracles, on weightless leaves,
lifted by the wind, were swept away.
O Light exalted beyond mortal thought,
grant that in memory I see again
but one small part of how you then appeared
and grant my tongue sufficient power
that it may leave behind a single spark
of glory for the people yet to come…
In its depth I saw contained,
by love into a single volume bound,
the pages scattered through the universe…
Hollander translation, Anchor Books 2007.