Just finished reading Paradise with my students. As a final project, I had them try to draw Dante’s final vision. Here’s the passage from the end of Paradise and a couple examples of what the students came up with.
Within that brilliant and profoundest Being
of the deep light three rings appeared to me,
three color and one measure in their gleaming:
As rainbow begets rainbow in the sky,
so were the first two, and the third, a flame
that from both rainbows breathed forth equally.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
That circle which appeared–in my poor style–
like a reflected radiance in Thee,
after my eyes had studied it awhile,
Within, and in its own hue,
seemed to be tinted with the figure of a Man,
and so I gazed on it absorbedly.
As a geometer struggles all he can
to measure the circle by the square,
but all his cogitation cannot gain
The principle he lacks: so did I stare
at this strange sight, to make the image fit
the aureole, and see it enter there:
But mine were not the feathers for that flight… (Esolen trans., Paradise 33.115-139)