[Milton-L] Christopher Rouse "Requiem"

Uzakova, Oydin Yashinova oydin.uzakova at okstate.edu
Tue May 6 14:13:29 EDT 2014

In the spirit of this review, I was particularly reminded of the following lines from Lycidas (38-63), when the poem's speaker fluctuates between the emotions of mourning, anger, and "justification"/self-consolation (through the Orpheus myth):

But O the heavy change, now thou art gon,
Now thou art gon, and never must return!
Thee Shepherd, thee the Woods, and desert Caves,
With wilde Thyme and the gadding<notes.shtml#gadding> Vine o'regrown, [ 40 ]
And all their echoes mourn.
The Willows, and the Hazle Copses green,
Shall now no more be seen,
Fanning their joyous Leaves to thy soft layes.
As killing as the Canker<notes.shtml#Canker> to the Rose, [ 45 ]
Or Taint-worm<notes.shtml#taint> to the weanling<notes.shtml#wean> Herds that graze,
Or Frost to Flowers, that their gay wardrop<notes.shtml#wardrop> wear,
When first the White thorn blows<notes.shtml#blows>;
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to Shepherds ear.

Where were ye Nymphs when the remorseless deep [ 50 ]
Clos'd o're the head of your lov'd Lycidas?
For neither were ye playing on the steep,
Where your old Bards<notes.shtml#bards>, the famous Druids ly,
Nor on the shaggy top of Mona<notes.shtml#geography> high,
Nor yet where Deva<notes.shtml#deva> spreads her wisard stream: [ 55 ]

Ay me, I fondly<notes.shtml#fondly> dream!
Had ye bin there — for what could that have don?
What could the Muse her self that Orpheus bore,
The Muse her self, for her inchanting son
Whom Universal nature did lament, [ 60 ]
When by the rout that made the hideous roar,
His goary visage down the stream was sent,
Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore<notes.shtml#orpheus>.

One can recite just lines 38-55 if wishing to end on a note of "uncomprehending grief and fury," before "glimpses of hope" offered by other poems in the series appear.

From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu <milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu> on behalf of Nancy Charlton <charltonwordorder1 at gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 12:17 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Christopher Rouse "Requiem"

Jameela and Greg are right. But does the Father die? Is the banishment of Adam and Eve a kind of death, because they do continue on their solitary way. The angels, however bloody, are still immortal. (don't omit the t). Satan et al are turned into hissing snakes, but they eventually break the spell. To be simplistic, the whole question of life vs. death might be summed up in the verse from is it I Cor 15: "...as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive"?

I did think after I sent my first post that Lycidas might be a possible choice, but what part would you use? It would need to be as brief as the Jonson.  The passage ending in 'Lycidas is not dead' might work, as it is a triumphant affirmation of the central Christian triumph of life over death. But isn't a requiem supposed to usher the deceased into eternal rest?

I love these discussions on Milton-L and I thank you for them, one and all.

Nancy Charlton

Sent from my iPhone

On May 6, 2014, at 9:50 AM, "Uzakova, Oydin Yashinova" <oydin.uzakova at okstate.edu<mailto:oydin.uzakova at okstate.edu>> wrote:

Perhaps Milton's elegy Lycidas is a good candidate for this series as well, especially considering these concluding observations of the reviewer: "The predominant mood of Mr. Rouse’s 'Requiem' is one of uncomprehending grief and fury almost as if, bereft of faith, it were mourning the death of consolation itself."

From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu> <milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu>> on behalf of Nancy Charlton <charltonwordorder1 at gmail.com<mailto:charltonwordorder1 at gmail.com>>
Sent: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 10:10 AM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: [Milton-L] Christopher Rouse "Requiem"

Today's NYTimes has a review of this performance:

It was the opener for the Spring for Music series at Carnegie Hall. Reviewer Corinna da Fonseca Wollheim comments:

"Rouse also weaves in poems by Seamus Heaney, Siegfried Sassoon, Michelangelo, Ben Jonson and John Milton that depict death through the eyes of those left behind: a sibling, a son, a fellow soldier, a lover. Given over to the soloist — here the beautifully poised South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo — these texts function like the lone figures in old paintings of biblical crowd scenes that stare out at the viewer as if to say: “This is about you."

She singles out only one individual poem,however: Jonson's "Farewell, thou child of my right hand." Without having heard it, I can't think which Milton poem, one that would follow in the series listed above. "Methought I saw my late espoused saint" perhaps. Nobody dies in PL.

Nancy Charlton

Sent from my iPhone
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