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

Carl Bellinger bcarlb at comcast.net
Tue Jan 12 12:18:39 EST 2010


"I could see Adam and Eve living in a rainforest with nicer insects." ??

"Nicer insects" than in the Rainforest, Jim? I'm afraid you are enviro-politically incorrect to associate the Rainforest with 'not nice' insects; --or not nice anything! Remember, _everything_ in this place, every blessed thing, every plant and every insect is friends to each other, so must be friends to us! Take one, you take us all. Extract the Orange-spiny Digger Roach, and you endanger _der ganzen_ ecosystem. Sure, you share your bias with no less than Milton whose "insect or worm durst enter none" (he won't even spare the nicer bugs,) but as I understand it, and I watch PBS quite often, there are but two sub-tropical organisms which the world system can safely exterminate: the Europeanized Yellowjacket-bluejean Logger, and the fully indigenous Yam-man which burns trees to make space for yams.

Glad to hear Ohio is so Green and so like Paradise as regards its multiple planting seasons. Here in Massachusetts the landscape --and most of New England actually-- is pretty much a stony-ground, post-lapsarian, "waste and wilde" kind of a thing.  We got rocks, Jim, lots of rocks. The fields are rocks, the fences rocks, and as for the high hills, well, raise your eyes to the hills and you see whence cometh all these rocks. We also got caves. And we got lakes, fens, and bogs. (Sorry, my seasonal affective disorder is really kicking in right now so I'm forgetting the nice bits like the beautiful Cape bogs in September, all red and steaming full of the best, sourest Cranberry.) And we got dens too, so it's all in good, complete Miltonic order.

_He_ had this seasonal thing himself, yes?  PL Books One and Two surely were composed in the January/February time frame. That's when _I'd_ plan to do all that lakes fens bogs & dens stuff.

A landscape horrible, on all sides round
as one great rock-pile lay, and in that pile
no soil, but merely rock more granular
served only to surrender stubs of grass,
casings of tuber, withered shrub, where leaf 
and branch can never bloom, boughs never bear 
that bear for Jim; but stubble without hue
still des'ccates, and a powdery fungus, sown
in ever-cracking frost-heaves underfoot.

Cheers & happy New Year to all!  -Carl


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: James Rovira 
  To: John Milton Discussion List 
  Sent: Friday, January 08, 2010 3:45 PM
  Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re prelaps seasons: when is a question a good one?


  Yes -- I would like to add that even in Ohio we have multiple planting seasons, depending upon the type of produce you're interested in.  Broadly defined, farmers harvest around May and then November.  But I think we also need to take seriously that Adam and Eve were said to have no real need of storage because fresh fruit was available off of the vine all year around.  

  Probably true of tropical zones?  Especially rainforests?  I could see Adam and Eve living in a rainforest with nicer insects.

  Undoubtedly this all seems very silly and overliteral, but Milton was constructing an entire world, not just four main characters and a lot of dialog.    

  Jim R


  On Fri, Jan 8, 2010 at 2:02 PM, Nancy Charlton <nbcharlton at comcast.net> wrote:

    Hard on the heels of Jim's latest post came a newsletter featuring the economy of Brazil. This caught my eye:

      Brazil has 23% of the world’s arable land and at least 40% of it is
      unused. That’s more than all the farmland in the U.S. combined! And
      its abundant rainfall and tropical location allows for *multiple
      planting seasons* with high yields.

    So, it may have been possible that both arguments have st lest some elements of correctness. "Multiple planting seasons" (note the plural) are possible if the conditions of "abundant rainfall" and "tropical location" obtain. Milton doesn't seem to qualify "seasons" as "planting" but it is implicit in the lines Jim quotes -- but it sounds like they had to pull the tomatoes and pears and let them ripen in-- what? a paper bag? But there is an unpleasant natural process implied by "superfluous moist." The store was subject to mold and mildew.




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