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To Understand How One Must Understand

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  • To Understand How One Must Understand

    Voi che 'ntendendo il terzo ciel movete,
    udite il ragionar ch'è nel mio core,
    ch'io nol so dire altrui, sì mi par novo.*
    —Dante Alighieri, “Convivio”

    Can mutual understanding be the tone
    To which we tune our hurting hearts, thus pain’d?
    What love and hope and truth must be attain’d
    To bring us to that understanding throne.
    What use is violence vain, to gain but naught,
    When love can fight in glorious victory?
    Take hope in what we find in memory
    Of one another’s past to find their thought.
    Forget not truth’s important play in all,
    For even comprehension needs to know
    That tolerance begins with status quo.
    Dismiss a standard to subdue us all.
    So yes, we all can each one understand,
    As long as we have love and truth’s at hand.

    *(You who by understanding move the third heaven, hear the discourse which is in my heart, and which seems so strange to me that I know not how to say it to others.)
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