Purgatorio Canto I

Purgatorio 1

To run its course through smoother water
the small bark of my wit now hoists its sail,
leaving that cruel sea behind;

vv. 1-3

Invocation to the Muses.—Dawn of Easter on the shore of Purgatory.—The Four Stars.—Cato.—The cleansing of Dante from the stains of Hell.

Dante announces that he will be “leaving that cruel sea behind.” The muses, and specifically Calliope, the ninth muse, are invoked. He sees Venus as it rises, followed by “the Fishes” (Pisces) and “four stars / not seen but by those first on earth.” Quickly Dante sees an old, honorable looking man with a shining face. Though he never reveals his identity, we learn through a number of select details that he is Cato of Utica, a figure of classical antiquity. Known as a strict moralist, Cato lived during the civil war and committed suicide rather than fall under Caesar’s imperial power. Cato is befuddled that Virgil and Dante have been allowed to leave Hell; Virgil speaks up to explain that Beatrice, described as a “lady descended from heaven,” has asked him to lead Dante to deliverance. Cato orders Virgil and Dante to descend to the nearby shore and “gird [Dante] / with a straight reed and bathe his face, / to wipe all traces of defilement from it.” He vanishes, and the two poets go to the shore and follow his orders. Yet, when Virgil plucks the reed, a sort of miracle occurs: another one appears immediately in its place!

Riassunto in inglese tratto da https://www.gradesaver.com/divine-comedy-purgatorio

Canto adopted by Matteo Raggi Costruzioni

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