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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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 ...centre of Hell  where the Devil  in the form of a lion   is held in bondage...
"...centre of Hell, where the Devil, in the form of a lion, is held in bondage..."
...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.
In traditional folklore  including Yoruba  a stream is a symbol of the boundary between two levels o...
In traditional folklore, including Yoruba, a stream is a symbol of the boundary between two levels of existence in the pilgrimage of a soul. Crossing a stream is symbolic of moving to a new spiritual level, either for good or for bad.
 The Portals of Hell
"The Portals of Hell"
 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
Magnifera Indica
Magnifera Indica
 Charon the ferryman
"Charon the ferryman"
...Looking over my shoulders repeatedly  expecting to see a hungry lion closing in from behind  stea...
...Looking over my shoulders repeatedly, expecting to see a hungry lion closing in from behind, stealthily, moving into the crouching posture felines assume before a predatory pounce...
 Midway upon the journey of our life/I found myself within a forest dark 
For the straightforward pa...
"Midway upon the journey of our life/I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost." (Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto I, Divine Comedy)
I became conscious of the fact that I was alone in the woods with a lion somewhere ahead. The lion w...
I became conscious of the fact that I was alone in the woods with a lion somewhere ahead. The lion was supposed to be caged. But could I trust the quality of staff that I met at the gates to keep a hungry lion safely in a cage?
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...
 [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).
 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).
....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 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.
... 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...
But as I walked deeper into the woods  I became conscious of a nagging fear...
But as I walked deeper into the woods, I became conscious of a nagging fear...
 Day was departing  and the embrowned air/Released the animals that are on earth/From their fatigues...
"Day was departing, and the embrowned air/Released the animals that are on earth/From their fatigues; and I the only one/Made myself ready to sustain the war/Both of the way and likewise of the woe/Which memory that errs not shall retrace." (Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto II, Divine Comedy)
A lion in the heart of the forest! It reminded me of the passage from Inferno:  But not so much  tha...
A lion in the heart of the forest! It reminded me of the passage from Inferno: "But not so much, that did not give me fear/A lion's aspect which appeared to me/He seemed as if against me he were coming/With head uplifted, and with ravenous hunger/So that it seemed the air was afraid of him." (Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto I, Divine Comedy)