[Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost

jonnyangel junkopardner at comcast.net
Tue Apr 14 11:57:39 EDT 2009


Well, if that¹s the case then Milton was the greatest playwright of all
time. 

J


On 4/14/09 11:53 AM, "Peter C. Herman" <herman2 at mail.sdsu.edu> wrote:

> 
> I don't suppose it would matter to anyone that in the early modern period, the
> term "poet" encompassed both drama and verse. There are "poets" in theatres as
> well as bookstalls.
> 
> pch
> 
> At 08:39 AM 4/14/2009, you 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 I’ll give Bill’s Sonnets (which have never left the top of
> my toilet, where I’ve read them for years on the crapper) is that he
> eventually got little playful with the form, whereas Milton never did. But
> I’m not talking about Sonnets. Shakespeare’s sonnets mean nothing –
> they’re transparent, emotionless worrds strung together for their own sake.
> Look at Milton’s, especially the one’s where he muses about how his time
> was spent. Shakespeare’s “poetry” isn’t transcendent because it
> didn’t “mean” 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 “could” be both a Playwright AND a poet (and even a
> plumber), but he wasn’t. He was a playwright, and his sonnets pale in
> comparison to Milton’s, and comparing the two as “poets” is like
> comparing an orange to motor oil.
> 
> And I don’t need to “limit” Shakespeare by stating that he wasn’t 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
> <josh at louisvillegolf.htm> > 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
> <mailto:junkopardner at comcast.net> >
>  
> To: John Milton Discussion List < mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
> <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 *wasn’t* a  poet. Not that it’s a “bad” thing, but he
> was a playwright.
> 
> Milton...now that’s a poet. And I will deny Shakespeare as a poet till  the
> day I die, unless a real poet shows me something I missed.
> 
> “I'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.”
> 
> (Thank you Frank.)
> 
> And yes, I say Shalom and mean it, but  Shakespeare isn’t going to dig
> himself out of his grave and write poetry  either way.
> 
> And BTW, Keats, Chaucer and Pope couldn’t catch Milton if  you dug them all
> up now and gave them a 200 year head start. You see, time doesn’t exist.
> 
> And it sure as hell ain’t 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
> <malkaruth2000 at yahoo.co.htm> >  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
> <junkopardner at comcast.htm> >  wrote:
>  
> 
> From: jonnyangel <junkopardner at comcast.net <junkopardner at comcast.htm> >
> Subject:  Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost
> To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
> <milton-l at lists.richmond.htm> >
> 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 “English”  Language; how could it not be? And you really
> can’t 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 writer’s, and both wrote in the
> English language.  Shakespeare was a phenomenal verbal linguist, and you
> can’t deny that. But  Milton was a poet (which is something Shakespeare
> simply wasn’t), 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 life’s
> 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  it’s Milton/Shakespeare or
> Frazier/Ali, it’s all subjective. Is Godzilla  “greater” than King Kong?
> Is an electrolyte imbalance “greater” 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 you’re 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
> <alanrudrum at gmail.htm> > 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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