[Milton-L] BBC and Milton's lost poem COSMOS
wahcenter at earthlink.net
Thu Dec 11 08:14:59 EST 2008
From Terrance Lindall:
I quote the late great Isamu Noguchi, when he visited Yuko Nii's
studio; "When you start becoming popular and start selling your
work, it has already gotten to the level of the common denominator's
taste.*" That means the lowest level. So, the fact that Milton is not
popular in American culture, a culture that esteems Madonna and Paris
Hilton and has never heard of Isamu Noguchi, then we should not be
surprised...or even dismayed. I personally do not long to be admired
by the Jerry Springer crowd.
I am of two minds about this. In a recent email to friends i wrote:
"Make no mistake about it! John Milton wanted his Paradise Lost to be
popular. He wanted it to be popular in different ages, down through
time. It appears that some scholars believe that Milton is only for
men and women of great intellect to ponder. Not so! Milton wanted to
"justify the ways of God to (all) men,” including laymen and scholars,
as a colorful and entertaining parable, a cake incorporating layers of
meaning, of which one might never tire. In so doing, he took the story
of good and evil and wove his tapestry of lively imaginative
characters that could engage the minds of the general population,
including those who might not understand discussions of abstract
theological/philosophical concepts. He did what John Bunyan did in the
same age, taking concepts of Sin and Death, personifying them to
capture the imaginations of ordinary people who, by being entertained,
might also discover some truth. John Milton wrote a friend: “Do you
ask what I am meditating? By the help of Heaven, an immortality of
fame.” This “immortality fo fame” was not to be just among scholars."
We are all fortunate to have been given a great task to perform. It is
our task and duty, especially in his 400th birth year, to enlighten a
debased American culture. If we cannot enlighten, then we must
preserve this treasure for future generations. We are blessed to be
given this great task.
Yuko's catalog with this article is available on ebay. It is called
"Friends and Mentors."
On Dec 11, 2008, at 2:54 AM, jonnyangel wrote:
> It’s unfortunate that Milton’s birthday received a substantial
> amount of press predominately in the UK, while in America (where I
> would argue his influence and ideology is more prevalent), there was
> nary a word in comparison. Poetry Foundation, etc. didn’t even
> acknowledge Milton’s 400th birthday, and what he means to the
> foundation and ideals of America, and, oh yes...”poetry” as well.
> >From the separation of church and state, to one’s “free-
> will” (through freedom of press) to read what you like, John Milton
> was more American (in those ideals) than he lived to see. So the
> question is, why was his influence (on his 400th birthday) virtually
> ignored (comparatively speaking to the UK) here in America?
> I don’t know, but I found it disgusting, and I sent off a few emails
> in various directions expressing as much.
> And John, don’t concern yourself with ‘no more posts for a while’.
> Feel free to post as much as you like, and I will read every one of
> In a world where talentless hacks get thousands of responses a day
> in blogs, bulletin boards, email lists etc, I can’t see any reason
> that Milton shouldn’t get the same (or more).
> On 12/9/08 11:14 PM, "John Geraghty" <johnegeraghty at hotmail.com>
>> I couldn't resist pointing this one out from the BBC:
>> "The poet, polemicist and writer of sublime prose is probably best
>> known for his religious epic, Paradise Lost. While living in Horton
>> he wrote the poems Cosmos and Lycidas."
>> I promise no more posts for a while
>> Send e-mail faster without improving your typing skills. Get your
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