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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 past the  vestibule  over the river Acheron into Hell proper
I walked past the "vestibule" over the river Acheron into Hell proper
...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...
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.
....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
 The Portals of Hell
"The Portals of Hell"
....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...
 ...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..."
Gmelina aborea
Gmelina aborea
...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.
 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)
...I beat a hasty retreat through the dark gloomy forest...
...I beat a hasty retreat through the dark gloomy forest...
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...
 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).
 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)
... 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 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?
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.
Magnifera Indica
Magnifera Indica

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