Dante died 700 years ago in 1321. The month was September. I will feature any poetry/short prose/artworks celebrating his work.

new visitors in Hell by Marcel Herms

-Marcel Herms who describes it as A new face in hell. Inspired by Dante AND the Fall.

Inferno’s Frozen Circle

I

Lucifer,

the most beautiful fallen Angel of God
with pristine features and brown eyes,
blonde hair. His
beauty is an obsession of woman in sin.
Scorned by those righteous men of cloth
who lived in their own damnation. Like Carpeaux’s statue of Ugolino and His Sons,
their secret sins devoured them. Eating
away at their remorse as they feasted upon
the children of God. No
mirror exists to show the true face of
Lucifer.

II

Lusting,

writhing bodies of the damned are entombed
in ice in Inferno’s frozen circle. Never
to be freed of their sins on earth/
forever, open-mouthed, frozen-screams, hands: outstretched to the heavens, pleading for mercy. They took the seductive path of lust, greed
and pleaded for immortality.
In the throes of their vanity, Lucifer promised them false salvation in the serenity of hell/
where there is no umlilo and brimstone.
An accepted Dantesque portrayal of the beauty
of Gabriel— an Angel of many faces.

III

Charon,

ferried the damned across the frozen seas.
Fire-breathing serpents melt the icy waters that cracks upon the force of the bow of naked women. Seduced by the sins of the living and seduced by the beautiful face of
Him.
For immortal beauty, they now remain frozen
for eternity. Never to age and never to feel
the touch of love again.
Requiem in Inferno.

-Robin McNamara

Higher Callings

Human Reason,
You brilliant and reliable gift,
Your shortcomings aren’t your fault.

There’s simply more at stake.
We need every ounce of you, but
Dante already told us,

Virgil would only take us so far.
Espousing ourselves to bewilderment,
Allows journeying beyond intellect

To Humanity within.
Humanity demands a risk –
It’s a mystery asking us to stop solving it,

Our Humanity asks us to
Stop singing along
Absent-mindedly with the songs

We presume are our soundtracks.
Listen, instead,
For the potential melody outside one’s head.

Humanity
Differs from Reason.
Our mystery becomes the solution.
-SamanthaTerrell.com

Honeysuckle Liberation 

Dampness and honeysuckle
Mingle in thick evening air,
And I am immediately

Made aware
Of a place
Romanticized by time,
Before Dante Alighieri intrigued
Me with meter and rhyme;

Before growth inside this womb,
Swollen twice by life;
Before I was delivered
From a mind stricken with strife,
Freeing me to secure the transformative properties
Of a damp, and honeysuckle-laced reality.
-SamanthaTerrell.com (Previously published by Plants & Poetry Journal)

se7en

-Liam Flanagan

ACCIDENTAL INDUSTRY
From the wood
laid low too make it plain
and easy working Smithies for iron
two monks discovered and cast aside
black stuff that somehow caught fire,
like their terrified smiles.

Homespun yarns
from Cheshire caused a riot among the weavers ,
shreds of whom were given transportations
of terror like their horrified employers.

Navvies sweat
cut water and rail tracks
for coal to fire the engines revolutions
like the grief of widows.

Coal gas came
to blow expanding refractions of hot faces
into fragility like redundant workers.

-Paul Brookes (The first poem in my ancient first poetry pamphlet, The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, Dearne Press, 1993)

Bios and Links

-Robin McNamara

is a widely published poet based in Waterford City, Ireland. His debut pamphlet, Under a Mind’s Staircase was recently published with Hedgehog Poetry Press (2021)



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