[Milton-L] "then" not "[then]"

J. Michael Gillum mgillum at ret.unca.edu
Sun Sep 15 16:41:20 EDT 2013

James--you are correct about potential metrical demotion of "first." But
that is not an obligatory reading. "Dis-" is a secondary stress and so it
is easily read as an offbeat within a metrical inversion x//xx/x/x/. That
reading is not obligatory either; both readings are metrical.

In Jameela's thread they discuss a purported 12-syllable line ending with

On Sun, Sep 15, 2013 at 3:46 PM, James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com> wrote:

> I know very little about Early Modern poetics to be sure -- so I very much
> appreciate your responses -- but even reading line 1 today, I would say
> that "first" could reasonably be demoted because a stressed syllable
> precedes and follows it. That particular case is both performance and
> convention, I would say. I like Richard's stress on "Of" because it's the
> opening word of an epic, so that applies even more pressure to demote
> "first."
> The word "society" was only brought up in a hypothetical example of yours,
> was it not? In that case I trust your statement about EM convention and
> practice -- thank you.
> Jim R
> On Sun, Sep 15, 2013 at 3:35 PM, J. Michael Gillum <mgillum at ret.unca.edu>wrote:
>> James--the issue I addressed with Richard could be framed in terms of
>> metrical convention. Did Milton think iambic verse conventions allowed a
>> beat to be realized in the third syllable position in the pattern x//xx? Or
>> did conventions of performance require that the natural stress on the word
>> "first" be overridden and the beat realized on "dis-"?
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