Abandon hope all ye who enter here
Et tu, Alighieri who held life dear
Yet dropped your bêtes noires without care or fear
Into black hell, with wrinkled lip and sneer.
Ravenna, a backwater and somewhere odd
To damn your enemies and play at God.
Imagine assuming you’d get the nod
A fast-track to heaven, though made of sod.
Flip it how you will, your unforgiveness
Threads the back weave of their lasting distress;
Betrayal begets betrayal – what a mess!
While you sail onward free of fault or blame
In perfect terza rima like a game,
Enraptured by daydreams of an old flame.
My attention has been drawn to fan fiction, which in Japanese is
called dōjinshi. It’s an
entire literary manifestation. It is “fictional writing written by fans,
commonly of an existing work of fiction. The author uses copyrighted
characters, settings, or other intellectual properties from the original
creator(s) as a basis for their writing.” (Wikipedia) I have taken this modern
practice to write ripostes to famous lines of poetry. The first one in the
series, written today, is a response to Dante. The basic idea in this poem is
the subject of a poem I wrote years ago in a 33-line canto of terza rima, which
is in a folder somewhere. The idea is this: since when was Dante innocent and
where would he have ended up in his own Comedy, if truth were known?
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