[Milton-L] Reading Milton for pleasure

Tim Strzechowski dedalus204 at comcast.net
Thu Jan 31 05:47:28 EST 2008


About five years ago, during one of the annual Milton Marathons I've conducted at Argo Community High School each December, I had a great "reading Milton for pleasure" moment:

We were all in the school library, about thirty of us. Food stuffs had been partially eaten, half-full bottles of water and plates of food scattered across tables, chairs no longer in precise order but shifted to accommodate the comfort of long-term readers having spent a good five or six hours already at their task..  A group of seven senior boys, costumed and wielding makeshift angelic swords and propelling Heavenly engines of destruction, were in the process of performing their choral reading of Book XI.

A parent of one of the performers quietly entered the library to see how the marathon was coming along.  After some time I made my way over to her while the performance raged on.  Her son, enrobed and standing on a chair, was majestically reading lines of the Miltonic Bard.

She smiled and commented on how well the marathon seemed to be going so far, and said, "You know, Steve always asks for sports-related stuff for Christmas.  He never asks for books.  But this year, he had only one thing on his list: a nice copy of Paradise Lost all his own."

Needless to say, that made my day!  : )

Tim Strzechowski
Argo Community High School
Newberry Library
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