Literary Wisdom · Poetry

The Split-Heart Plight of Beatrice Portinari: A Sestina

If I were to select any literary couple other than Prince Hamlet and Lady Ophelia with whom to celebrate Valentine's Day, I would choose Dante Alighieri and Beatrice Portinari without question. Though their real-life romance is rather tragic—one could even see the dismal misfortune in a Wikipedia biography—their literary reconciliation is among the sweetest and most ancient epitomes of Christian romantic devotion.