TALKING DANTE EPISODE 20 – Such (tale, di questa genere, di questa portata) is an adjective that means of the kind (del tipo) or degree (grado) already indicated or implied (implicito, sottinteso). For example: ‘Such is life …’ (così è la vita); ‘There is no such thing as a free lunch’ (Un pranzo veramente gratis? Non esiste niente del genere)
Flight (fuga) is the noun that comes from the verb flee (fuggire). So if you are in flight from something (in ritirata da qualcosa), then you are fleeing it. You can also take flight (fuggire) or put somebody / something to flight (mettere in fuga).
Just to confuse things, flight is also the noun from the verb fly (volare) so an in-flight magazine, for example, is a magazine (una rivista) that you can read on an airplane during the flight (volo).
The shape (forma) that something has is its external form or its appearance (aspetto) in outline (come contorno). Fate (sorte) is another word for destiny. So, practically, the shape of your fate is the outline of your destiny that you are just beginning to see.
Twist (attorcigliare) is a verb that means change the form of something by rotating one end (lembo) and not the other or the two ends in opposite directions. Dante twists round (si attorciglia) so that he can look back (guardare indietro).
Stare (fissare, guardare in maniera fissa) is a verb that means look intensely. It is generally considered rude (maleducato) to stare at somebody!
Bleak (cupo, tetro) is an adjective that can mean bare (brullo), exposed (esposto), windswept (battuto dal vento) or, as here, dreary (squallido, cupo)
A streak (striscia) is a long irregular line usually distinguished by colour (here the black trunks – i tronchi neri – of the trees.
I have always thought it was very important that Dante says there is no escape (‘che non lasciò già mai persona viva’) from the Dark Wood. You see, you can go to Paradise and back, but your troubles will always be with you.