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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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...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"
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.
 I cannot well repeat how there I entered  So full was I of slumber at the moment/In which I had aba...
"I cannot well repeat how there I entered, So full was I of slumber at the moment/In which I had abandoned the true way." (Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto I, Divine Comedy)
 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 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
 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...
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...
 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).
 [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).
... 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...
 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).
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
 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)
...I beat a hasty retreat through the dark gloomy forest...
...I beat a hasty retreat through the dark gloomy forest...
...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.
 ...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..."
 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)
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...

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