[Milton-L] Advent

Nancy Charlton pastorale55 at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 9 13:49:53 EST 2008

Thanks, Diane McColley, for your meditation on Sara Jeffrey Milton. She must have been a remarkable woman, and how grateful I am that "this one lived."

This evening I will be having a small dinner party to celebrate the day, and I was thinking I would propose a toast to John Milton Sr in appreciation of his insight and foresight in giving his son wherewith to become what he became. Several of my guests have never heard of John Milton, but by the end of the evening they will, and they'll know why he continues to be read into his fifth century. More important, they will I hope depart well fed and well regaled by the magic of his verse.

Almost two years ago, I asked the help of the list in devising a 10-minute presentation of Milton. As it fell out, I did not give that presentation, except for a dry run to a friend who stopped by. She was gobsmacked by what I said, commented "this is life-changing!"  I plan to do something of the kind this evening, only about 20 minutes in length. A belated thanks to all who responded at the time.

Thanks Carol Barton for the link to the DNB. Thanks to all for the links you have posted. It is truly heartening to see this outpouring of appreciation for JM. May his works survive in all curricula, and may those who've never heard of him have the experience.

Bartleby.com commemorates him today, with a brief bio from the Columbia Encyclopedia, the word "pensile" rather inexplicably, "I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue" from the quotations archive, and "Upon the Circumcision." A strange choice, perhaps, but I was glad to reread it and find it more excellent than I remembered--and utterly seasonal.

Best wishes,


Nancy Charlton


. . . Till old experience do attain

To something like prophetic strain.  (Il Penseroso)

--- On Tue, 12/9/08, Diane McColley <dmccolley at earthlink.net> wrote:
From: Diane McColley <dmccolley at earthlink.net>
Subject: [Milton-L] Advent
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Date: Tuesday, December 9, 2008, 5:27 AM

I am thinking this morning of Sara Jeffrey Milton,
what she felt
when the water broke,
when the head emerged,
when the midwife eased the shoulders
into this world: thinking perhaps
of the one she lost;
hoping this one would live._______________________________________________
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