H. W. Bryce came to poetry in a serious way when his wife was stricken with Alzheimer’s disease. It was his way to deal with the anguish and depression that strikes most family caregivers. Since then he has run the gamut of care giving experiences, and wishes to share his newfound insights. Born in Saskatchewan, he has worked and lived in Ontario, where he earned his BA in English and Journalism; Alberta, where he continued his journalistic experience as a weekly newspaper editor-reporter-photographer, et al; and in British Columbia, where he worked as a book editor. Mr. Bryce travelled extensively through Portugal and Spain, North Africa, and the Middle East in the 1960s, before settling in England. There, he met the lady who became his wife. They had one child together in London, where he worked as a teacher. Later, in Worthing, Sussex, Mr. Bryce worked as a reporter with the Worthing Gazette and Herald. There, their second child was born. When the world economy struck England, he moved his family to Hamilton, Ont., where their third child was born while Mr. Bryce worked at the Hamilton Spectator. Today he lives and writes in Maple Ridge, BC.
The Divine Comedydescribes Dante's descent into Hell with Virgil as a guide; his ascent of Mount Purgatory and encounter with his dead love, Beatrice; and finally, his arrival in Heaven. Examining questions of faith, desire and enlightenment, the poem is a brilliantly nuanced and moving allegory of human redemption.
'The perfect balance of tightness and colloquialism... likely to be the best modern version of Dante' - Bernard O'Donoghue
'The most moving lines literature has achieved' - Jorge Luis Borges
'This version is the first to bring together poetry and scholarship in the very body of the translation - a deeply-informed version of Dante that is also a pleasure to read' - Professor David Wallace, University of Pennsylvania
Individual editions of Robin Kirkpatrick's translation - Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso - are also available in Penguin Classics, and include Dante's Italian printed alongside the English text.
Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265 and belonged to a noble but impoverished family. His life was divided by political duties and poetry, the most of famous of which was inspired by his meeting with Bice Portinari, whom he called Beatrice, including La Vita Nuova and The Divine Comedy. He died in Ravenna in 1321.
Robin Kirkpatrick is a poet and widely-published Dante scholar. He has taught courses on Dante's Divine Comedy in Hong Kong, Dublin, and Cambridge where is Fellow of Robinson College and Professor of Italian and English Literatures.