My Poetic Response to Justice after Reading Dante’s Inferno, Take a look:
Divine in your Justice? True to your Judgment?
The world alone cannot explain, 1
Your words are tough in my domain.
How do you speak with such harshness?
Your judgment, your fear, your will to believe,
The dangers below in the darkness.
Alas, it is treacherous just to breathe, in this land filled with grave starkness.
Dante, you want more than you shall ever receive. 5
Your Beatrice is waiting, so hurry if you please.
You are a martyr, a saint, a hero not in vain.
A poet and a savior,
In your own woeful eyes.
How does one live through your voyage to this demise.
Your journey into the Hellish lands, 10
From G-d to Evil and beyond the times of sand.
Why Dante? Oh, why in Canto Three, do you begin?
Describing the journey before your life is not even spread thin.
The Gates of Hell, the judgment is sealed;
There is no going back for any who have sinned.
Even if there are good deeds, your troubles shall never cease, 15
For your actions are too evil to ever bring relief.
No, there was no Christ in your time,
so your life cannot be weighed up like yours or “mine.”
Or those who lived After His Death –
Ha! For you, limbo is your eternal conclusion, 18
Although you did no bad deed but not see Him live, you just fell into this confusion.
No, this is not fair, and to me, to my religion, not remotely true,
For good deeds are always seen in the eyes of G-d.
Unless you have blasphemed His name, committed the Adulterous sin, that of an Idolater,
Or If you have killed or taken your own life…
To Heaven you will go after the Eleventh Month. 22
Your soul will be purified; all evil shall be gone,
And you will live in harmony in the Paradise of G-d,
Along with all your kind, in peace for always and eternity.
And those once great, philosophers and all, are sent to the fields,
like those of Pelennor, from Tolkien’s “Rings.” 25
Quiet and beautiful. Green and strangely bright.
Yet danger waits patiently to spring his ugly plan, with all his might.
This is the fortress of Knowledge where there is no escape.
No light of G-d, just heavenly hate.
For in your eyes, Dante, they have done no good, 30
Never mind, the way in which they have transformed the world.
Harsh judgment is thy end and no reward for any good deed they shall see,
For they did not believe like you or “me”,
That is the fate of your brave teacher Publius Vergilius Maro.
Shall I go to Hell for not believing in your Christ?
Should I be punished for this “unlawful strife?”
If only once I committed a sin, told a lie or took revenge,
In your eyes, would you send me to my depths? 35
Down to Hell where the Kindly Ones dwell.
Where ones soul is ripped to shreds or one is chased through thick, thorny forests,
Forced to eat the muck of your fellow transgressors or worse…
Meet the fate of Judus, Brutus and Cassius –
The Horror and the fear draws near.
To Come face to face with G-d’s evil doer, his fallen Angel, 40
that wicked Satan.
He oversees your cruel justice and rules the eternity of pain.
Only your one sided view is what counts,
you do not take pity or true reason into account.
You only believe in what your Virgil says –
But beware, dear Dante, it may not work out,
For his confidence is weaning.
It begins to turn to dread and doubt. 45
As your time came in the City of Dis, the Angel,
That proud Messo arrived just in time to save your life.
This is proof that you should practice what you preach.
For indeed you are a great hypocrite for acting in this way,
Against your enemy Fillipo Argenti.
He stole your possessions, enjoyed your grief,
And even took pleasure from your strife…
Yet if you were in his shoes, would you not act the same? 50
For this you deny your guilt and call for him to be destroyed,
To get rid of any of the evidence that reminds you of the truth.
But alas you are never silent; your ideas are very strong.
And although I do not agree with all that you say,
There are many lessons that your story does tell.
A warning, a sign, to be a good person. 55
Be truthful and G-dly, be honest and obey the law,
For if you do not, there will be a price to pay.
You will be sent down to the depths of the Earth.
To Hell you will go and suffer in the after-life
Until the end of Eternity comes unto death.
Copyright © Ilanit Chernick 2012