[Milton-L] To Cyriack Skinner upon his Blindness

Duran, Angelica A duran0 at purdue.edu
Tue Feb 19 11:06:52 EST 2013

Dear scholars,

I have read every article and chapter on "To Cyriack Skinner upon his Blindness" that I could get my hands on and am working through the tone of lines 6-9:
Yet I argue not
Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot
Of heart of hope; but sill bear up and steer
Right onward. What supports me dost thou ask?

Many editors note the revisions to the poem, including replacing "Uphillward" with "Right onward." In addition to more clearly initiating the sense of traveling/sailing  that other elements of the poem produce, "Right onward" sounds to me as purposefully trite, more along the lines of Milton's reference to the "fatal and perfidious bark" in "Lycidas," a trite explanation called in to be ultimately rejected. I see the four aspirated "h" sounds in the first halves of lines 7 and 8 as contributing to that tone.

What are your thoughts? Many thanks.

Angelica Duran
Associate Professor, English and Comparative Literature
Director, Religious Studies
Purdue University
500 Oval Drive - Heavilon Hall
West Lafayette, Indiana 47907
(765) 496-3957
<duran0 at purdue.edu>

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