[Milton-L] humble ode

Sara van den Berg vandens at slu.edu
Fri Dec 24 20:10:30 EST 2010


I am not sure about #2 and #3, but perhaps the detailed study of time/tenses
in the Ode by Lowry Nelson, Jr., in *Baroque Lyric Poetry* (1961) would help
with these questions.

Merry Christmas to everyone,

Sara van den Berg

On Fri, Dec 24, 2010 at 6:49 PM, Harold Skulsky <hskulsky at smith.edu> wrote:

>
>
> (1) Is there a name for a poem which puns in its title by such a word
> as Milton's "On" the Morning, where "on" is both occasion and subject?
> *My guess would be no; the double meaning in question is peculiar to
> English "on." *
>
> (2) At line 24 of the intro do others (reading slowly as I do)
> speculate that, having somehow "seen" the "star-led wizards hasting"
> their way to Bethlehem (line 22-3), he is telling himself to go there
> even more quickly and beat them to the finish-line (because at the
> least he's got the twelve days of Christmas in which to do it)?
> *Yes. *
>
> (3) Reading slowly, and not charging on into the ode proper, are we
> given the conceited vision of parties converging on the manger, the
> three plus camels and things from the east guided by a star and J. M.
> all by himself but knowing more than  they do, to make a beeline to
> Bethlehem.
> *Yes -- though the real favorite to win the contest of music
> offerings is Urania (Heavenly Muse), the source of the prophetic inspiration
> that qualifies M to be the champion of the Divine Order, and sing with the
> angels. On the other side, the Magi's Muse is the Natural Order (they are
> natural magicians from the East). *
> *The rivalry of Muses is friendly of course; in the ensuing Christmas
> "symphony," the deep organ of nature sings bass to the angels' treble, to
> make up the full "consort" of creation. *
>
>
>
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