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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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Gmelina aborea
Gmelina aborea
...I beat a hasty retreat through the dark gloomy forest...
...I beat a hasty retreat through the dark gloomy forest...
....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...
 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)
 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)
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...
 At that point where the valley terminated  Which had with consternation pierced my heart  Upward I ...
"At that point where the valley terminated, Which had with consternation pierced my heart, Upward I looked, and I beheld its shoulders, Vested already with that planet's rays/Which leadeth others right by every road." (Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto I, Divine Comedy)
I returned to the gate and found the staff lounging around idly  one picking his teeth in a hillbill...
I returned to the gate and found the staff lounging around idly, one picking his teeth in a hillbilly manner. The manager was preparing to leave. I said nothing. Everything about them told me it would be fruitless exercise to raise questions about the security of their rickety pens. But trouble began when I attempted to snap close-up photos of the Gardens' dilapidated facade.
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.
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.
 Charon the ferryman
"Charon the ferryman"
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...
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)
The trees stood guard over me striking various grotesque poses like mighty Angels of Hell watching o...
The trees stood guard over me striking various grotesque poses like mighty Angels of Hell watching over me through evilly hooded eyes
... 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...
...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...
...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...
 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).
...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.
 The Portals of Hell
"The Portals of Hell"