[Milton-L] A Milton reference

Mitchell M. Harris mitchell.harris at augie.edu
Sat Dec 13 16:13:36 EST 2008


Hopkins loved Milton and held him in the same esteem as he held George  
Herbert. And his letters to Dixon and Robert Bridges reveal how  
indebted his sense of prosody was to Milton. In fact, Hopkins argues  
that Milton invents "sprung rhythm" in Paradise Regained and then  
masters it in Samson Agonistes. Unfortunately, he died before he could  
write extensively on Milton's prosody (he was thinking of writing a  
book on the topic). Bridges tries to maintain the spirit of Hopkins in  
his book on Milton's prosody, but it is clearly evident from Bridges'  
book that he didn't fully understand what Hopkins was doing in his own  
poetry, let alone his scansion of Milton's verse. Also, sadly, Hopkins  
didn't live to see Masson's biography, which he was eagerly  
anticipating. If I remember correctly, Hopkins saw his "Wreck of the  
Deutschland" as his Samson.


Mitchell M. Harris
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Augustana College
2001 S. Summit Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57197
(605) 274-4699
mitchell.harris at augie.edu

"Alack, when once our grace we have forgot,
Nothing goes right . . ."
				   - William Shakespeare

On Dec 13, 2008, at 3:01 PM, Nancy Charlton wrote:

> NYTimes review of Paul Mariani's new biography of Gerard Manley  
> Hopkins:
> As Paul Mariani points out in “Gerard Manley Hopkins,” his generous  
> new biography, the “unpromising beginnings” of Hopkins’s prosodic  
> revolution were in a Jesuit classroom in London, where as a teacher  
> of rhetoric he tried to impart something of his enthusiasm for the  
> later rhythms of Milton and the alliterative effects of the Anglo- 
> Saxons.
> I can't think of two poets more unlike--or two I like more.
> http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/14/books/review/Bailey-t.html? 
> 8bu&emc=bu
> Nancy Charlton
> http://groups.google.com/group/paradiselostdaily
> . . . Till old experience do attain
> To something like prophetic strain. (Il Penseroso)
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