[Milton-L] Re prelaps seasons: when is a question a good one?

richard strier rastrier at uchicago.edu
Fri Jan 8 11:46:46 EST 2010


Interesting that the more that folks ACTUALLY LOOK at the poem, the less 
tenable the "no seasons," or only one, or even only two becomes.  I guess I'm a 
naive reader, but "all seasons" kind of seems to me to mean all seasons.  I will 
not repeat my argument about why I think M is not worried about saying this.  
He seems to be going out of his way to indicate that all natural processes take 
place in Eden.

---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2010 22:35:31 -0500
>From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>  
>Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re prelaps seasons: when is a question a good one?  
>To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>
>   That could be it, Jeffery, thank you.  I think we
>   should do more with Harold Skulsky's reference to
>   the Hours.  I noticed those references while going
>   through the text but didn't have time to think them
>   through.  The Hours also represent the seasons in
>   Greek lit -- Spring, Summer, Autumn.  Winter must
>   be divided between Autumn and Spring (living in
>   Ohio, right now I'm thinking, "must be nice").   So
>   the presence of the Hours is the presence of the
>   seasons.  I think if Spring and Autumn dance hand
>   in hand, what you have are two seasons -- Spring and
>   Autumn, no winter, no summer, but continual
>   harvest. 
>
>   I was thinking too of these lines in bk 5:
>
>   <<To whom thus Eve. Adam, earths hallowd mould,
>   Of God inspir'd, small store will serve, where
>   store,
>   All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk;
>   Save what by frugal storing firmness gains
>   To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes: [ 325
>   ]>>
>
>   Jim R
>
>   On Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 6:38 PM, Horace Jeffery
>   Hodges <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>     Judith, I think that Jim might be conflating two
>     passages:
>      
>      
>     The Birds thir quire apply; aires, vernal aires,
>     Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
>     The trembling leaves, while Universal Pan
>     Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance
>     Led on th' Eternal Spring. (PL 4.264-268)
>      
>     . . . Rais'd of grassie terf
>     Thir Table was, and mossie seats had round,
>     And on her ample Square from side to side
>     All Autumn pil'd, though Spring and Autumn here
>     Danc'd hand in hand. (PL 5.391-395)
>      
>      
>     [Thomas H. Luxon, ed. The Milton Reading Room,
>     January 2009]
>      
>      
>     The implication is that "There is continuall
>     Spring, and haruest there / Continuall, both
>     meeting at one tyme," but I wouldn't say that
>     "there an explicit reference in PL just to that
>     very thing -- continual Spring and harvest,"
>     though the dancing in both passages suggests that
>     Milton was linking the two.
>      
>      
>     Jeffery Hodges
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