The Road to Hell

An old one resurrected.


If Dante had been born

a few centuries later

and gone to Vienna,

his footsteps would have led him

to Berggasse 19

where the good doctor

would have sorted him out.


All problems are linked to libido,

Sigmund Freud would have said.

“Let’s explore your dream,

it is easily explained.

You find yourself in a tenebrous place

having totally lost your way.


You have carried the torch

for  Beatrice Portinari;

you have been wanting to bed her

since she was twelve.

The dark mass that you’re in

is the fur of her ‘mons veneris’.


You are ashamed of your sin

so you say that you’ve gone astray.

The memory haunts you

and  you roam the Florentine streets

in the hope of catching a glimpse

as  you embark on the road to Hell.


Did she ever hint that she might

accede to your amorous advances?

Isn’t ‘ yes’ the answer you hanker for?

What a blow then to hear that her father

has arranged for her to be married

to a young and prosperous banker.”


© Luigi Pagano 2015


© ionicus 2023
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Nice one, Luigi. Saves me reading The Inferno. I’ve still got Proust to finish and all the novels of Balzac.


Liked this a lot Luigi, great stuff.


Full of “What if” ‘wonderingness.’ Analysing this poem could not only lead to self understanding but give me a classical education to boot! Loved it Luigi very cleverly written.


Intriguing idea well.extrapolated. Love speculative poetry.

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