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Dante’s Terza Rima in The Divine Comedy: The Road of Therapy

Author(s): Dennis Patrick Slattery

Journal: International Journal of Transpersonal Studies
ISSN 1321-0122

Volume: 27;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Wisdom | poetry | knowing

Wisdom’s pursuit through symbols, metaphors, poetry, and therapy is a path of indirection, less available the more one’s pursuit is direct. Wisdom may be gained through particular processes of knowing, pilgrimages towards the truth of things. Dante’s 14th century poem engages a new rhyme scheme to further this pursuit of knowing towards wisdom. He called it terza rima, or third rhyme. Its structure, the essay argues, embodies two movements of the soul: the journey towards knowing, one which is always bending back in memory, and the movement of therapy itself, wherein one becomes more conscious by seeing in the present a confluence of one’s history and one’s destiny at the same instant.

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