The list author says: "All translators are liars. If you want to truly experience the Divine Comedy, you need to learn Italian, preferably fourteenth-century Italian. But barring that, we are stuck with translations. And God only knows how many translations have been done of the Divine Comedy! I have never even seen a guess. There must be dozens--at the very least. And yet, I have never seen a translation that seemed definitive to me: prose is too flat and terza rima results in distorted text. Below is a quick guide to the more famous and the more recent translations. Also, if youÂre not already familiar with Dante, notes are essential. (Some of the information on this list was drawn from Barbara ReynoldÂs article in The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation.)"
"Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1867) Blank terzine. Famous American poet. Easily found on the web at several different sites. Also seems to be the translation of choice for American publishers looking for copyright-free works."
"Dorothy Sayers (1949) Terza rima. British writer best known for her detective novels. Last volume completed by Barbara Reynolds. Very famous translation. The language sounds Biblical to me, but perhaps it should."
"John Ciardi (1954) Defective terza rima (middle of each tercet unrhymed). CHARdee. American poet, worked for PBS for a while. Perhaps the most popular translation in the United States in recent history."
"Mark Musa (1971) Blank terzine. Professor at Indiana University. Good notes. Along with MandelbaumÂs, the most used translation in American colleges and high schools. Probably the most accessible version for the general reader."