[Milton-L] A pause about pauses

carl bellinger bcarlb at comcast.net
Sun Sep 16 19:05:17 EDT 2007

Thanks Mario for your pause on pauses; and in the midst of a move too.

I must admit being uncomfortable by the thrust of your comment, as I was too 
by Michael Gillum's which you cited and which did indeed back you up. When I 
hear it's no big deal whether we call it "the pauses" on one hand, or the 
"sense drawn from verse into verse" I say, no, that can't be right. Does 
Milton ever let specific terminology, from his own pen, 'off the hook' of 
cogent, stringent, and precise reference? Should not Johnson's sharp 
displeasure about "the variety of pauses, so much boasted by lovers of blank 
verse" [quote from decaying memory] give pause to the easy idea that we 
mustn't get too hung up on terminology?

     But then I'm a devotee of prosody, and any devotee of anything 
intricate & finicky is likely to be finicky and crabby.

And of course, the two of you have a powerful card you ain't played yet. If 
I find your comments annoyingly dismissive of my precious distinctions, you 
just plop Milton's own comment on the table. and case closed!

 "I mean not here the prosody of a verse, which they could not but have hit 
on before among the rudiments of grammar."

You understand of course I'm actually the opposite of crabby to any opinions 
on prosody; I love the topic and everyone with the chutzpah to comment on 
it! I have read, by the way, more than one of John Creaser's excellent 
articles on prosody, and would point out to my esteemed colleagues Gillum & 
DiCaesura, that after reading one of these, Mr. Gillum is less inclined to 
see the variety of the pause in blank verse merely as an unavoidable 
by-product of enjambment.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mario DiCesare" <dicesare1 at mindspring.com>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2007 5:18 PM
Subject: [Milton-L] A pause about pauses

> Dear Colleagues,
> May I suggest that maybe we really don't need to worry a lot about the 
> fact that Milton does not explicitly discuss pauses? . . . .
. . . .
. . . . 

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