Hypnerotomachia Poliphili - Islands
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Hypnerotomachia Poliphili – Francesca Colonna [translated by Joscelyn Godwin]
This holy place was dedicated by kindly nature (always compassionate towards mortals) as a nursery of the gods and as a station and place of diversion for the blessed spirits. As far as I could ascertain, it was three miles round, with periodic inlets of limpid salt water. It was not troubled by hollow cliffs, gnawed by the insolence of turbulent and foamy waves into holes, and full of crevices like the broken Strophades. Nor was the rock of proud Niobe to be seen there, nor her tall and petrified daughters. But all was made from a shining mineral substance that was not frangible, friable or muddy, but translucent, whole and inviolate like a transparent crafted crystal.
I carefully explored the shore, washed by friendly tides and pebbled with strewn gemstones that shone in various forms and colours. There was also abundant evidence of the fragrant coitus of monstrous whales, brought up by the fruitful tides. Beyond, this ornamental island was covered with lovely and ever renewed perennial greenery, looking glorious...........