The Love Song of Dante Ahghieri
[Editor's note: At the beginning of i()6;, the year which
marks the "jooth anniversary of Dante's birth, the Friends are
recognizing the event primarily by centering the program of the
February membership rneeting around the subject of the illus¬
trious Italian poet, with Professor Maurice Valency, Columbia
authority on Dante, as speaker. We are also noting the event by
reproducing as the frontispiece in this issue of Library Columns
an illustration from the 148-/ edition of Dante's masterpiece.
Because of their relevance to the topic selected for his remarks
at the Friends' meeting, "The Love Song of Dante Alighieri"
and because they are appropriate to the illustration, we quote here
some passages from Professor Valency's book on the love-poetry
of the Renaissance.*]
The Comedy of Dante Alighieri is obviously rooted in the
lyric tradition. Without the lady of the troubadour song, there
could have been no Beatrice. Through the love of her beauty,
the poet was able to achieve the supreme vision of the world
which follows in all its various aspects from the comprehension
of the universal Beatrice. This revelation was the guerdon which
the lady bestowed upon her lover in the fullness of time. So love
"restored in one day all the wrongs he had done elsewhere"—
and here, at last. Love and the lady transcended the third heaven.
* In Praise of Love. N.Y., Macmillan Company, 1958.