With all due respect,
> This epigraph to LSJAP from Dante's Inferno leads one to think of
> S'io credessi che mia risposta fosse
> a persona che mai tomasse al mundo,
> questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
> Ma per cio che giammai di questo fondo
> non torno vivo alcun, s'i'odo il vero,
> senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo.
> "If I thought that my reply would be to someone who would ever
> to earth, this flame would remain without further movement; but as
> one has ever returned alive from this gulf, if what I hear is
> true, I
> can answer you with no fear of infamy."
Well, not secrets exactly, but confession (remember, Guido is a sinner
turned friar gone bad, and in fact partially because he believed in the
Pope's promised absolution; though, being a friar he ought to have
known better, for there is no absolution without penance, and any
promised is void if the penitent is not truly repentant).
> While these lines from Dante's Purgatorio, Canto XXVI, lines 147-148
> make one think of sin and purgation:
The latter of which hell will have none of.
> In his essay "Dante" (1929) Eliot provided this translation:
> 'I am Arnold, who weeps and goes singing. I see in thought all the
> past folly. And I see with joy the day for which I hope, before
> me. And so I pray you, by that Virtue which leads you to the
> stair--be mindful in due time of my pain'. Then dived he back into
> that fire which refines them.
This is not, I believe, Eliot's translation.
> In the draft of Prufrock Eliot used the Purgatorio quotation as the
> epigraph (see "Inventions of the March Hare," 39, 41).
Yes, he did. He also expunged it.
> So I say again
> that apparently Eliot was thinking of secrets, sin and overwhelming
And I say again, it is not Eliot, but precisely what Eliot did not
write, his epigraph, which leads you to these thoughts. Intriguing.