“Midway along the journey of our life
I woke to find myself in a dark wood,
for I had wandered off from the straight path.
“How hard it is to tell what it was like,
this wood of wilderness, savage and stubborn
(the thought of it brings back all my old fears)
“a bitter place! Death could scarce be bitterer.
But if I would show the good that came of it
I must talk about things other than the good”
Dante Alighieri, translated by Mark Musa
I was turned on to Dante’s “Divine Comedy” in a pod-cast convo twixt Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon. They were discussing Mark’s new book, “Dante’s Divine Comedy: A Guide for the Spiritual Seeker. They
had me from the moment they quoted the “Midway through my life I got lost in a dark wood” line, because that’s exactly where I am these days.
Vernon bemoaned the tendency of people to get stuck on the “Inferno” section of the epic poem, overlooking “Purgatorio” and “Paradiso”, which describe the journey out of the darkness, into the light. Since this, in my desperation, is what I’m attempting also, I thought I would give it (Mark Vernon’s book, and his preferred translation of the original work) a go!
Stay tuned for thrills and chills as you accompany me on this journey!
In this canto, Dante, lost in a dark wood, finds his way to the light at the top of the hill by a leopard, a she-wolf and a lion! Luckily, the Roman poet Virgil steps in to be Dante’s guide.