[Milton-L] "knew not eating metrical death"

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Mon Aug 2 21:49:35 EDT 2010

You could probably add, Carl, that Brogan and others believe that the
problems all began when we started applying the rules of Greek meter
to poetry in English.  That should have some bearing upon our
discussion of Milton's meter as well.

Brogan does make one odd claim in the NPEPP, though -- he seems to
speak of the poem as an abstract entity that exists separately from
the spoken or written version of the poem.  That is the only instance
in which Brogan has ever sounded to me like he lost his mind.

Jim R

> That's the bad news. Here's the worse. This is in the intro. to T. V. F.
> Brogan's  magisterial annotated bibliography referencing essentially all
> published discussions on Eng prosody (over four centuries worth) among them
> roughly one hundred twenty on Milton's metrics. From
> _English Versification, 1570-1980, A Reference Guide_:
> "The study of versification is "... a field which in historical terms has
> been (it is not too extreme to say) a great mass of ignorance, confusion,
> superficial thinking, category mistakes, argument by spurious analogy,
> persuasive definitions, and gross abuses of both concepts and terms...
> [I]n studies of the structure of verse the use of terms such as poetry,
> verse, accent, quantity, Numbers, Measure, rhythm, meter, prosody,
> versification, onomatopoeia, and rhyme/rime/ryme,  historically and
> consistently has been nothing short of Pandemonium. It was so in 1580 and it
> remains so in 1980."
> And still in 2010?        -Carl

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