A poem through dreamlike segments: At the cash register death came to visit me.

Death awaits me at the cash register, where I will have to pay a bill I do not know.

Today, death came to visit me.

She had the bill between his fingers
and was waiting for my turn,
as the ferromagnetic cashier
Counting souls in the heart of the Zen labyrinth.

My cart is empty now:
Thirsty, I drank on the sly,
while a clerk (a novice)
Careless, turned his back on me.

But everyone in Hell is all too careful
And I have no more money in my pockets.

What is the penalty, then,
for those who do not have enough to pay
The (long) list of their sins?

Maybe selling the soul to God?

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A brief note on the law of contrapasso inflicted after death on the condemned in Dante’s Inferno

In Dante’s Inferno, the law of retaliation, also known as contrapasso, is a fundamental concept governing the punishments meted out to sinners in Hell. According to this law, the punishment of every sinner directly corresponds to the sin committed during his or her life on Earth. Dante presents a poetic justice in which the eternal suffering of sinners reflects the nature of their sins.

For example, in Canto III, Dante encounters opportunists stung by wasps and hornets, symbolizing their restless pursuit of personal gain that now eternally haunts them. In Canto V, the lustful are trapped in a whirlwind, representing the chaotic nature of their desires that have led to chaos.

The contrapasso serves not only as a form of punishment but also as a moral lesson for readers, highlighting the consequences of one’s actions and the importance of leading a virtuous life so as not to be unprepared at the time of death. Dante’s vivid descriptions of punishment through contrapasso create a striking picture of divine justice and reinforce the themes of sin and redemption throughout Inferno.

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