Friday, August 2, 2013
Virgil leads me along crumbling pavement set in slow labyrinthine right angles across a large campus; more direct paths have been trampled into the yellowing grass by the reluctant shuffling feet of thousands. We pass among ancient stone buildings, their entrances announced by looming Doric columns emerging from the thick canopy of ivy, pediments empty of ornament, entablatures bearing the engraved names of ancient pedagogues: “PLATO”; “NEWTON”; “SCHOPENHAVER”.
We finally arrive at a grand, patinated gate, its hinges resisting our push, rusted with the damp of centuries. I ineptly sound out the verses inscribed above: ‘Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate’. . . alas, I have only grad school German and French. Regrets I have many.