Bosch's Garden of Worldly Delights

‘The heaven & hell shall be created
in one sphere.’
(God has pronounced it. A plan lies
on his lap.)

‘The elliptical disc - EARTH - shall provide
- one indirectly leading to heaven,
& the other
directly to hell. '

Vermilion fruit hangs at tips
of yellowing trees.
JEHOVAH (Christ) introduces Eve peacefully
to Adam

Frogs rats & lizards die instantly
in Eden
caught & swallowed swiftly by cat
or bird

Bees like birds distantly swirl
& vanish
– tiny creatures - hundreds - swarming
& circling.

Wisely tick-tacking like God's clock
the solitary owl predicts the imminent
disaster . .

Bosch’s World.
Nakedly frolicking men & women chatter
Riders riot - a zodiac? - on lion goat
bull & bear

Goldenhaired waternymphs - lilies
in lilypond -

whisper urgently together or happily
beckon them.

In forefront of stalls longbeaked spies
gaze greedily
amazed at the frenzied gyration
of the horde.

Everywhere private parts playfully exhibited
cease to be private.

Fanciful desires excite the actors

Multitudes struggle with   envy   pain
gluttony & hatred.
Lunatic armies, engulfed in flames, perish
in bitumen slime.

Frantic victims wallow – hundreds - with bodies
darkly presented
- ripped by spear, slashed by knife, or torn
by dog or devil .

Hieronymus Bosch, fiercely filled with righteous
Godlike joy,
busily destroys all of them rapidly
- burns or drowns them!


It is said that Hieronymus Bosch paints a world which obviously is directly opposed to the kingdom of heaven & is evidently evil throughout.

Bosch speaks in symbols & metaphors: a fascinating world of monstrous formations, full of wit, surprises & multiple meanings.

Out of the lunacy which he sees largely surrounding him he creates from inner depths a lively astonishing world which he himself, we understand, has rejected.