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James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Dante. (search)
do we feel the parched lips of Master Adam for those rivulets of the Casentino which run down into the Arno, making their channels cool and soft! His comparisons are as fresh, as simple, and as directly from nature as those of Homer. See, for example, Inferno, XVII. 127-132; Ib. XXIV. 7-12; Purgatorio, II. 124-129; Ib., III. 79-84; Ib., XXVII. 76-81; Paradiso, XIX. 91-93; Ib. XXI. 34-39; Ib. XXIII. 1-9. Sometimes they show a more subtle observation, as where he compares the stooping of Antaeus over him to the leaning tower of Garisenda, to which the clouds, flying in an opposite direction to its inclination, give away their motion. Inferno, XXXI. 136-138. And those thin clouds above, in flakes and bars, That give away their motion to the stars. Coleridge, Dejection, an Ode. See also the comparison of the dimness of the faces seen around him in Paradise to a pearl on a white forehead. (Paradiso, III. 14.) His suggestions of individuality, too, from attitude or speech, as i