[Milton-L] Scansion of line X

Richard A. Strier rastrier at uchicago.edu
Tue Sep 17 16:11:32 EDT 2013

It's a wonderful fact -- one with which I have had long and rich experience -- that scansion, which one might think would be the most cut and dried part of literary/poetic analysis always turns out to be interestingly contentious, theoretical, and personal.  If one has a taste for the topic -- which I do, and Professor Fleming may not -- the contention and discussion is part of the fun of the whole thing.  Who would've thought?  I can hardly wait to discuss another line!


From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of Gregory Machacek [Gregory.Machacek at marist.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 1:43 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: [Milton-L] Scansion of line X

Darn!  The subject line made me think we were moving on to line 10.

Part of what elicits JD Fleming's feeling is that every blessed time we have one of these discussions about a particular case we negotiate afresh the meaning of "every blessed term" (stress/accent/beat; rhythm/meter).  Efforts to define and illustrate every blessed term carefully, precisely and wisely are book-length and multiple, and people on this list all have their favorites.  Attridge lurks behind a lot of the commentary.  But any attempt to collegially agree on some one of the existing prosodies would, I suspect: 1) reproduce all of the renegotiation we do each time and 2) end in collegial resolutions to agree to disagree, rather than in collegial agreement.

But for all of that, I find these discussions profitable.

Greg Machacek
Professor of English
Marist College

-----milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu wrote: -----
To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
From: JCarl Bellinger
Sent by: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
Date: 09/17/2013 01:54PM
Subject: [Milton-L] Scansion of line X

In order to escape the  complaint implicit in Professor Fleming's cordial "Is there any validity to my feeling, which comes up whenever a scansion thread becomes a web..." in order as I say to escape this nicely posed complaint mustn't EVERY blessed term essential to this endemically intractable subject be carefully, precisely, wisely, defined & illustrated, AND
collegially agreed, before any serious discussion can be profitably undertaken?

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