[Oderisi]: O empty glory of the powers of humans!
How briefly green endures upon the peak –
unless an age of dullness follows it.
In painting Cimabue thought he held
the field, and now it’s Giotto they acclaim –
the former only keeps a shadowed fame.
So did one Guido, from the other, wrest
the glory of our tongue – and he perhaps
is born who will chase both out of the nest.
Worldly renown is nothing other than
a breath of wind that blows now here, now there,
and changes name when it has changed its course. (Purg. XI, 91-102)
As oxen, yoked, proceed abreast, so I
moved with that burdened soul as long as my
kind pedagogue allowed me to; but when
he said: “Leave him behind, and go ahead;
for here it’s fitting that with wings and oars
each urge his boat along with all his force,”
I drew my body up again, erect –
the stance most suitable to man – and yet
the thoughts I thought were still submissive, bent. (Purg. XII, 1-9)
[Forese]: “But tell me if the man whom I see here
is he who brought the new rhymes forth, beginning:
‘Ladies who have intelligence of love.’”
I answered: “I am one who, when Love breathes
in me, takes note; what he, within, dictates,
I, in that way, without, would speak and shape.”
“O brother, now I see,” he said, “the knot
that kept the Notary, Guittone, and me
short of the sweet new manner that I hear.
I clearly see how your pens follow closely
behind him who dictates, and certainly
that did not happen with our pens; and he
who sets himself to ferreting profoundly
can find no other difference between
the two styles.” (Purg. XXIV, 49-63)