[Milton-L] Humble request (was Milton-L Digest, Vol 75, Issue 14)

Bob Blair bblair48 at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 19 23:04:17 EST 2013


I think that a good suggestion, but if it says "Milton-L" I'm going to read it eventually, anyway.

Bob
--- On Tue, 2/19/13, Jameela Lares <Jameela.Lares at usm.edu> wrote:

> From: Jameela Lares <Jameela.Lares at usm.edu>
> Subject: [Milton-L] Humble request (was Milton-L Digest, Vol 75, Issue 14)
> To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 11:47 AM
> Might I humbly request that anyone
> posting to this list use a more descriptive subject line
> than "Milton-L Digest"?
> 
> Jameela Lares
> Professor of English
> The University of Southern Mississippi
> 118 College Drive, #5037
> Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
> 601 266-4319 ofc
> 601 266-5757 fax
> ________________________________________
> From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
> [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu]
> on behalf of John Leonard [jleonard at uwo.ca]
> Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 12:14 PM
> To: John Milton Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Milton-L Digest, Vol 75, Issue 14
> 
> I can hear nothing trite in 'bear up and steer / Right
> onward'.  I can see that 'uphillward' might convey that
> impression (especially after the nautical imagery in 'bear
> up' and 'steer'), but Jim is surely right on when he says
> 'Right onward' is 'heroic in the face of adversity'. Both
> the language and imagery (sailing against a head wind) look
> forward to Satan's journey through Hell and Chaos, when he
> is likened to a merchant fleet 'Close sailing from Bengala'
> as it plies 'Stemming nightly toward the pole'. ('Close' and
> 'stemming' are also nautical terms.) 'Bear up' also plays on
> the senses 'uphold principles' and 'keep up courage' (OED
> 21), ideas that Milton took seriously.
> 
> John Leonard
> 
> On 19/02/2013 12:39 PM, James Rovira wrote:
> I read the tone as heroic in the face of adversity, Milton
> believing that he suffered a loss of eyesight because of his
> defense of liberty in England.  I don't mean to argue
> that "steer / Right onward" might sound trite, but it could
> be that he hoped the serious tone of the poem up until that
> point would carry that construction through as well, and
> that the reference to his "noble task" would elevate it
> afterwards.  He also seems to consider the fame he won
> for his engagement of this noble task as compensation for
> his loss of eyesight.
> 
> So I would say that the "still bear up and steer / Right
> onward" is not later to be rejected, but is supported by the
> rest of the poem, while the previous clause beginning with
> "Yet I argue not..." is the idea to be rejected: that Milton
> might argue with God about his loss of eyesight.  He
> seems to be positioning himself as facing the temptations of
> Job here and coming out on top.
> 
> Jim R
> 
> On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM, Christopher Baker <christopher.baker at armstrong.edu<mailto:christopher.baker at armstrong.edu>>
> wrote:
> 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.
> 
> Adios,
> Angelica Duran
> 
> 
> 
> 
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