“Wretched souls and small,
who by the dim lights of your twisted minds
believe you prosper even as you fall—“ (118-20)
That resonates. Misunderstanding is one of our great specialties.
“What have your souls to boast of and be proud?
You are no more than insects, incomplete
as any grub until it burst the shroud.” (124-6)
This is one of those little passages in the text that make clear to me how I just can’t buy into the Dantean program.
“No more than insects”—fine. They too are marvels of Creation.
“Incomplete”—sure. We never quite put it all together.
But “incomplete / as any grub until it burst the shroud”?
Am I reading this right? To mean that we can be completed only by dying?
I feel compelled to refer once more to the first passage above.
To me that sounds like trying to “believe you prosper even as you fall.” Hmmmm.