‘Dark wood’ has recently been offered to all us wordpressers as a new theme. Comments on the theme range from ‘I love it’ to ‘too dark’ (da!). Some references have been made to widgets (? still have no idea what that means. Blogging has opened up a mysterious lexical set for me to decode) and other technical possibilities (or lack thereof). I commented on another dark wood, but seem to be alone in my attention to its rather ominous significances.
Dante Alighieri’s Commedia begins:
Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray
from the straight road and woke to find myself
alone in a dark wood. (John Ciardi’s translation)
In Dante’s work, the “dark wood” is both literal and figurative – standing for sin, the death of inspiration and love and political corruption. So, are the people who have chosen this theme making a political or poetic statement? Are they caught up in a vortex of misery and despair? Or, more to the point, why haven’t I chosen this theme as my own?
By the by, when can we expect Purgatory and Paradise?