[Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost

jonnyangel junkopardner at comcast.net
Tue Apr 14 11:49:10 EDT 2009


Yeah, and then there¹s that story about Wilde being at a party where someone
made a witty comment and Wilde said that he wished that he would have said
it, to which they replied ³You will...²

J


On 4/14/09 11:39 AM, "Michael Bryson" <michael.bryson at csun.edu> wrote:

> It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors--Oscar Wilde
> 
> Of course, Wilde wasn't a poet either...another stringer together of
> "emotionless words [...] for their own sake" no doubt.
> 
> Michael Bryson
> 
> 
> ---- Original message ----
>> Date: Tue, 14 Apr 2009 11:30:12 -0400
>> From: jonnyangel <junkopardner at comcast.net>
>> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost
>> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> The only thing I¹ll give Bill¹s Sonnets (which have never left the top of my
>> toilet, where I¹ve read them for years on the crapper) is that he eventually
>> got little playful with the form, whereas Milton never did. But I¹m not
>> talking about Sonnets. Shakespeare¹s sonnets mean nothing ­ they¹re
>> transparent, emotionless words strung together for their own sake. Look at
>> Milton¹s, especially the one¹s where he muses about how his time was spent.
>> Shakespeare¹s ³poetry² isn¹t transcendent because it didn¹t ³mean² anything.
>> I hate to mention that anti-Semite/Milton-hater Ezra Pound, but at the very
>> least he knew that emotion in poetry was its only transcendent quality.
>> 
>> And yes, Shakespeare ³could² be both a Playwright AND a poet (and even a
>> plumber), but he wasn¹t. He was a playwright, and his sonnets pale in
>> comparison to Milton¹s, and comparing the two as ³poets² is like comparing an
>> orange to motor oil.
>> 
>> And I don¹t need to ³limit² Shakespeare by stating that he wasn¹t a
>> poet...hell, he did that all by himself.
>> 
>> I love Shakespeare, but the guards changed with Milton.
>> 
>> And thank God for the changing of the guards.
>> 
>> 
>> J 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
>> Coral is far more red, than her lips red:
>> If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
>> If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
>> I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
>> But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
>> And in some perfumes is there more delight
>> Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
>> I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
>> That music hath a far more pleasing sound:
>> I grant I never saw a goddess go,
>> My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
>> And yet by heaven, I think my love as rare,
>> As any she belied with false compare.
>> 
>> -Bill
>> 
>> When I consider how my light is spent,
>>     E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,
>>     And that one Talent which is death to hide,
>>     Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent
>> To serve therewith my Maker, and present
>>     My true account, least he returning chide,
>>     Doth God exact day labour, light deny'd,
>>     I fondly ask; But patience to prevent
>> That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
>>     Either man's work or his own gifts, who best
>>     Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State
>> Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
>>     And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:
>>     They also serve who only stand and waite.
>> 
>> -M
>> 
>> 
>> On 4/14/09 9:34 AM, "Josh Fischer" <josh at louisvillegolf.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> As my favorite Wendell Berry likes to espouse - a human is irreducible, and
>>> to reduce Shakespeare to only a playwright is to reduce him to the parts of
>>> him that are popular and ignore the beauty of his sonnets, which gather less
>>> press but are impressive nonetheless.
>>> 
>>> He can be both - playwright and poet, and to reduce him is to limit his
>>> greatness. Limitations are needless, especially when there are so many
>>> actual limitations placed on us by being human.
>>> 
>>> We are all such "complicated monsters."
>>>  
>>> - Joshua Fischer
>>>  
>>>  
>>>>  
>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>>  
>>>> From:  jonnyangel <mailto:junkopardner at comcast.net>
>>>>  
>>>> To: John Milton Discussion List <mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>>>>  
>>>> Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 8:05  AM
>>>>  
>>>> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise  Lost
>>>>  
>>>> 
>>>> Thank you Marlene.
>>>> 
>>>> But Shakespeare *wasn¹t* a  poet. Not that it¹s a ³bad² thing, but he was a
>>>> playwright.  
>>>> 
>>>> Milton...now that¹s a poet. And I will deny Shakespeare as a poet till  the
>>>> day I die, unless a real poet shows me something I missed.
>>>> 
>>>> ³I've  been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king
>>>> I've been up  and down and over and out and I know one thing
>>>> Each time I find myself  layin' flat on my face
>>>> I just pick myself up and get back in the  race.²
>>>> 
>>>> (Thank you Frank.)
>>>> 
>>>> And yes, I say Shalom and mean it, but  Shakespeare isn¹t going to dig
>>>> himself out of his grave and write poetry  either way.
>>>> 
>>>> And BTW, Keats, Chaucer and Pope couldn¹t catch Milton if  you dug them all
>>>> up now and gave them a 200 year head start. You see,  time doesn¹t exist.
>>>> 
>>>> And it sure as hell ain¹t ever gonna change  the facts.
>>>> 
>>>> Peace, Love, and Billy Jack,
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> J
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> On 4/14/09 6:40 AM, "Marlene  Edelstein" <malkaruth2000 at yahoo.co.uk>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>  
>>>>> Shalom? Shalom? If it's peace and harmony you're  after don't go about
>>>>> calling Shakespeare a one-trick pony and denying that  he's a poet. Why
>>>>> the need to establish a hierarchy of the greatest? My love  of poetry and
>>>>> language was nurtured by by both Shakespeare and Milton (and  Keats,
>>>>> Chaucer and Pope, by the way); returning to either is a  rebirth.
>>>>> 
>>>>>               Marlene  R.  Edelstein
>>>>> 
>>>>>              
>>>>> 
>>>>> believe  everything, believe nothing
>>>>> 
>>>>> --- On Tue, 14/4/09, jonnyangel  <junkopardner at comcast.net>  wrote:
>>>>>  
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> From: jonnyangel <junkopardner at comcast.net>
>>>>>> Subject:  Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost
>>>>>> To: "John Milton Discussion List"  <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>>>>>> Date:  Tuesday, 14 April, 2009, 10:55 AM
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost  Yes, Yes, and Yes. PL is the greatest
>>>>>> work of literature in the ³English²  Language; how could it not be? And
>>>>>> you really can¹t compare Shakespeare to  Milton (or vice versa), because
>>>>>> Bill was a playwright and John was (first  and foremost) a poet. But you
>>>>>> you can compare them with regard to  the fact that both were writer¹s,
>>>>>> and both wrote in the English language.  Shakespeare was a phenomenal
>>>>>> verbal linguist, and you can¹t deny that. But  Milton was a poet (which
>>>>>> is something Shakespeare simply wasn¹t), AND  Milton could also handle an
>>>>>> epic narrative, multiple characters, temporal  space, and the single
>>>>>> largest topic that exists: Man/Woman, Heaven/Hell,  God/Satan, and all of
>>>>>> the binaries of life¹s Black/White morality forming  grey areas that are
>>>>>> still being sought, fought, and argued over in the  21st century.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Look, when it comes to the heavyweights, whether  it¹s Milton/Shakespeare
>>>>>> or Frazier/Ali, it¹s all subjective. Is Godzilla  ³greater² than King
>>>>>> Kong? Is an electrolyte imbalance ³greater² than  cancer? They can (and
>>>>>> often will) take you to the same place at the end of  the day.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> But if I could be fortunate enough to have an escort to  that place, I
>>>>>> hope Milton is my escort.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Shakespeare, for all of  his brilliance, was a one trick pony. Milton was
>>>>>> a jack of many trades,  and the master of most of them.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Even though you can argue someone  till you¹re blue in the face that PL
>>>>>> is the greatest work of English  Literature ever written, you will still
>>>>>> get arguments to the contrary ­  but there are other factors/variables in
>>>>>> the equation to be considered.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Shakespeare carved out his slice of the pie, and Milton served up  the
>>>>>> rest. 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Shalom, 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Jonathan B. Colburn
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> On 4/14/09 12:22 AM, "Alan Rudrum" <alanrudrum at gmail.com>  wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>  
>>>>>>> the greatest single work of  literature in the English language, as was
>>>>>>> stated on this list  recently?
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Certainly it might be argued that it is; but when I  raised the question
>>>>>>> with the scholar nearest to hand, we said  simultaneously "What about
>>>>>>> King Lear?"
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> And then there is Wordsworth's Prelude,  which begins with a meaningful
>>>>>>> echo of Samson Agonistes, - not  every Milton scholar of my acquaintance
>>>>>>> managed to see this for  himself,- and speaks at least as well as
>>>>>>> Paradise Lost to the  concerns of many people one would hesitate to
>>>>>>> condemn as  stupid.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Alan Rudrum
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>  
>>>>>>> 
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>>>>>>> 
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>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
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>>>>> 
>>>>>  
>>>>> 
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>>>>  
>>>> 
>>>>  
>>>> 
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