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agodi gardens News

Photo Essay: Agodi Gardens — Metaphor of Inferno in Divine Comedy Special

This Digital Journal reporter visited the Agodi Gardens, Parliament Road, Ibadan, recently. The experience was hauntingly reminiscent of Dante Alighieri's "lost in the woods" metaphor in his Inferno, Divine Comedy.
 

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....I walked closer  and there he was seated...a lonesome figure in the heart of Hell...
....I walked closer, and there he was seated...a lonesome figure in the heart of Hell...
I walked past the  vestibule  over the river Acheron into Hell proper
I walked past the "vestibule" over the river Acheron into Hell proper
I came to another stream. This time there wasn t a bridge but a  narrow plank placed rudely across t...
I came to another stream. This time there wasn't a bridge but a narrow plank placed rudely across the stream...
...I beat a hasty retreat through the dark gloomy forest...
...I beat a hasty retreat through the dark gloomy forest...
Now was I thrust deep in the heart of the forest  alone  in the ninth circle of Hell...
Now was I thrust deep in the heart of the forest, alone, in the ninth circle of Hell...
As I crossed the stream  I felt myself in transition from the outer rings of Hell  into the innermos...
As I crossed the stream, I felt myself in transition from the outer rings of Hell, into the innermost...
 Charon the ferryman
"Charon the ferryman"
...I perceived  vaguely  the form of the cage in which he was held bondage...
...I perceived, vaguely, the form of the cage in which he was held bondage...
 Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say/What was this forest savage  rough  and stern/Which in the ver...
"Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say/What was this forest savage, rough, and stern/Which in the very thought renews the fear." (Dante, Inferno, Canto I, Divine Comedy).
...My instinct was to get away from the place as quickly as possible. I looked around for a tree I c...
...My instinct was to get away from the place as quickly as possible. I looked around for a tree I could shimmy up hastily if by a stroke of fickle chance the lion manages to escape. High smooth-sided trees all round, I would stand no chance against a hungry lion in this environment.
... a dark zone where the Devil dwelt by himself in bondage... My eyes were dim at first until...
... a dark zone where the Devil dwelt by himself in bondage... My eyes were dim at first until...
 So bitter is it  death is little more; But of the good to treat  which there I found  Speak will I ...
"So bitter is it, death is little more; But of the good to treat, which there I found, Speak will I of the other things I saw there." (Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto I, Divine Comedy).
 Acheron  is a tributary of the Ogunpa stream. The river is deep green  dirty and littered
"Acheron" is a tributary of the Ogunpa stream. The river is deep green, dirty and littered
 O Muses  O high genius  now assist me!/O memory  that didst write down what I saw/Here thy nobility...
"O Muses, O high genius, now assist me!/O memory, that didst write down what I saw/Here thy nobility shall be manifest!" (Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto II, Divine Comedy).
Gmelina aborea
Gmelina aborea
....I moved closer  cautiously  now intensely aware we were alone together. The enclosure was old an...
....I moved closer, cautiously, now intensely aware we were alone together. The enclosure was old and rickety. I know that it takes a lot of professional skill and care to maintain an enclosure to hold a restless and powerful canine animal safely. Certainly not the level of professionalism I could ascribe to the indifferent, semi-literate staff I saw at the portals of this half-heartedly managed establishment
...after recalling I had been told there was a lion in the heart of the forest.
...after recalling I had been told there was a lion in the heart of the forest.
 [O Muse] who guidest me/Regard my manhood  if it be sufficient/Ere to the arduous pass thou dost co...
"[O Muse] who guidest me/Regard my manhood, if it be sufficient/Ere to the arduous pass thou dost confide me." (Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Cantor II, Divine Comedy).
Bats fluttered high above to complete the haunting impression of wandering into a forbidden realm.
Bats fluttered high above to complete the haunting impression of wandering into a forbidden realm.