[Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost

Tim Strzechowski dedalus204 at comcast.net
Tue Apr 14 12:21:56 EDT 2009



Oh, I agree agree agree with jonnyangel.  Milton's sonnets are warm and soothing on a sore throat, giving us that refreshing vapo-action to lift the sinuses to grand heights as we grip with gloved hands the steaming mug of coco epic and nestle beside the hearth of blank verse. 



Billy boy's sonnets, on the other hand, are the bananas and cashews and whole grain bread of literature that sit in the pit of our stomach, churning against bowel  and forcing the analstrain and blood of poetic movement with tears and sweat forming, the icepick slice against anus of verse, as a defi-chunk blast plops and, with sonnet's end, relief. 



Milton was a poet, yes, but not Shakespeare, no.  No poetry there.  Uh, uh. 



We should destroy all books except those by Milton.  DESTROY.  I dream of a day when young boys will grow their hair long and study by candlelight.  When girls will learn dictation to help their men, "for nothing lovelier can be found / In woman, than to study household good, / And good works in her husband to promote"!  I dream of a day when schoolchildren will recite lines by the Lady of Cambridge and not those ridiculously inferior "plays" by Billy boy.  He's so 1601. 



Milton is Guitar Hero Metallica.  Shakespeare is X-Box 360.  



Alas, jonnyangel and I must wait patiently for our Miltonworld to come to its glorious fruition.  But hey, we also serve who stand and wait ... 



ROCK ON, jonny!  WHOOOOOOOOO! 














----- Original Message ----- 
From: "jonnyangel" <junkopardner at comcast.net> 
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu> 
Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 10:30:12 AM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central 
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost 

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 words 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 > 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 *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 >  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 “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 >  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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