[Milton-L] Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night...

jonnyangel junkopardner at comcast.net
Sat Dec 27 22:54:46 EST 2008


Well Matthew, in the month of December I've posted 16 times out of 27 days
so far. So I guess that means I'm currently 11 posts behind the one post per
day guideline. Unless you count this one of course, which pushes the total
to 17 posts in 27 days.

I guess I say all of this to agree with you and point out that I'm doing my
part, and encourage everyone else to do the same.

Cheers, 

J 




On 12/27/08 7:58 PM, "Matthew Stallard" <stallard at ohio.edu> wrote:

> I love the one post per day guideline. Anyone else?
> 
> Matthew
> 
> 
> 
> --On Saturday, December 27, 2008 4:15 PM -0500 jonnyangel
> <junkopardner at comcast.net> wrote:
> 
>> Well said Jim.
>> 
>> My favorite contemporary poet, Billy Collins, has been an English
>> Professor at Lehman College for over 30 years. He also was U.S. Poet
>> Laureate for two terms. This coming semester I will have the privilege of
>> taking a poetry class taught by a very well respected poet with many
>> published books of poetry and a Yale Younger award. It is indeed a money
>> issue, and many great artists (poets, painters, musicians etc) still have
>> to keep a day job.
>> 
>> But in my previous post I was talking about _academic_ writing in
>> reference to scholars vs. artists, and maybe I should have made that
>> clearer (or just clear).
>> 
>> As for Milton and PL, I think the syntax is, in part, why it has held up
>> for centuries - it just adds a timelessness to it. And Milton's command of
>> language, poetic craft (similes, assonance, internal rhyming etc), pacing,
>> narrative, character...is just jaw dropping (hey, and I've read Homer).
>> 
>> Maybe I'm biased with Milton (well, ok, I am) but that's ok. Maybe I think
>> Milton was a greater writer than, say, Homer (if such a man actually
>> existed and wrote Odyssey and Iliad all by himself) and it's just my own
>> subjective bias talking.
>> 
>> But whatever the case may be, I don't see _how_ one could argue that there
>> has been any writer _better_ than Milton (using, of course, objective
>> criteria such as language, craft, etc).
>> 
>> Anyway, thanks for your post, and I did read your longish post also (as I
>> do with all of your posts).
>> 
>> Peace Shalom,
>> 
>> J
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On 12/27/08 9:53 AM, "James Rovira" <jamesrovira at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> Nancy -- I said in my very first reply on this thread:
>>> 
>>> <<So a statement that Milton was the greatest author who ever lived
>>> sounds these days more like an emotional expression on the part of the
>>> person speaking rather than a careful evaluation of literature.>>
>>> 
>>> I should have added that's a perfectly legitimate emotional expression.
>>> But J's subsequent responses sounded like he meant more than this -- he
>>> was making objective comparisons, and still is, by insisting no one is
>>> greater in fact, and asking for names -- not just in his subjective
>>> experience of the poetry. I also suggested in my very first reply that
>>> the problem with any idea of greatness is that there's little agreement
>>> on the standards of greatness.
>>> 
>>> But it was in a slightly longish post like this one that requires
>>> reading. Too much work on a holiday.
>>> 
>>> J. -- The idea of a separation between "scholars" and "artists" doesn't
>>> hold up well.  Most academics who study poetry have also published
>>> poetry.  There are many successful mid-list novelists who also teach
>>> because that's a more stable source of income.  Arthur Miller, T.S.
>>> Eliot, Tolkein, Lewis, Annie Dillard -- all creative writers with strong
>>> connections to academics.  Some started in the academy, some started as
>>> creative writers.  To get an even better idea, though, go to the faculty
>>> pages of any major university and check out the publications of
>>> different faculty members.  You will usually find several who have also
>>> published creative work.  I published poetry and other works before I
>>> completed my undergraduate degree.  But $15.00-$25.00/poem plus a copy
>>> of the magazine just doesn't cut it.  I could publish a book of poetry
>>> and make big bucks, I guess.  We all know how well those sell.
>>> 
>>> "Greater" is a comparative term.  The word "writing" covers everything.
>>> Not so much about genre, but about what we expect a work to do while we
>>> read it. PL is indeed one of the greatest works in English, probably in
>>> any language. I don't know how anyone could possibly determine if any
>>> work was greater or not.  For sheer poetic effect, the poem's syntax
>>> sometimes makes reading it too much like figuring out a Sudoku puzzle.
>>> But that's part of the poem's greatness as well.
>>> 
>>> Jim R
>>> 
>>> 
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>> 
>> 
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> 
> 
> 
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