[Milton-L] Sonnet for our Friend

Hugh Wilson wilsonh at gram.edu
Tue Mar 15 23:23:53 EDT 2011

I think Kemmer has set a courageous precedent and

a good one.   As  a fool must occasionally indulge his 

own folly, I follow suit.


John Shawcross, notwithstanding minor limitations like sun-spots

or solar flares, was a great scholar who illuminated whatever he

he shared-and made more accessible-the poetry of Milton and Donne; 

he deserves some poetry of his own.  If only we could be as learned

and diligent, as thoroughly decent, as he and his peers were, or as

 urbane as the gentlemen and gentlewomen we study. . .  


Bill Hunter, Al Labriola and Kate Frost,

have passed; now Shawcross counts among the lost.

It's curious, what we remember now:

not when, but where; not what they did, but how.

The aging master scholar passes on:

the world's diminished by the glimpse of dawn;

now they are gone, we stand a cubit less:

we take the news perforce, as by duress;

no one discourses of their feats of mind,

we most remember whether they were kind.

Ephemeral pictures dance upon the verge

of memory, the pictures blend and merge;

a sadness seeps inside, suffusing moods

where melancholy comes to roost, and broods.



From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
[mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Kemmer
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:56 AM
To: Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
Subject: [Milton-L] Sonnet for our Friend


Sonnet Making for John Shawcross


Mentor, Nestor, Chiron: John Shawcross, Friend,

With bibliographical mind stops to

Consider a question to guide us through

That Miltonic labyrinth while we bend

A line beyond intent, meaning to render

Our design to what sound we thought was true.

Through conversation, he pours out what knew:

>From Eden his voice whispers through the wind.


Eyes rest on a copy of Milton's Prose

Straining to remember questions asked

During a breakfast here in Tennessee.

Those unfinished thoughts will bloom like a rose

Tilled in gardens far from Paradise tasked

With loving labors that set our minds free.


Kemmer Anderson

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