La Vita Nuova

Ah, could I be quite so fully undone
by that which being shown me made me whole,
Love? To see it in just one place, begun,
then its ending, elsewhere, would leave my soul

lost. To pine for that which in visions lives,
but cannot manifest in fact, or clothe
itself in flesh: such limitation gives
new life to heaven and hell, being both.

Dante, were you truly in love, your eyes
would behold no other sight save that state,
and your undoing would be undisguised

delight – called by some fools a madman’s fate!
Ah, to be so undone, to find magic
in the world as it is, is not tragic.

14 JUL 2003

For whom has Love so undone you?
I, smiling, would look at them and say nothing.
— Dante Alighieri, La Vita Nuova

for Pietro

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