The Inferno of Dante: Bilingual Edition - Dante Alighieri, Robert Pinsky An outstanding work in an outstanding edition. Dante’s erudite journey through Hell is overflowing with references to the classical tradition. Homer, Aristotle, Virgil, Ovid, Augustine and the Bible are among the countless contributors to Dante’s nightmare.

The Italian on the opposite page provide those curious with the chance to get a feel for the original rhythm and sound. I cannot speak to the quality of Pinsky’s translation because I don’t understand Italian, but his verse is flowing. His approximation of the rhyming pattern leads him to flexibly end lines in the same consonant sounds instead of seeking to twist English to fit the more standard and harmonious idea of rhyme.

The end notes are critical to a fuller understanding of the references. Especially in regards to the numerous minor figures in Dante’s 14th century Florentine court. The poem served in part as political allegory, but its exceptional value is found in its melding together of the traditions and thought that defined the West.