[Milton-L] Longfellow on Milton

Terry Ross tross at ubalt.edu
Tue Feb 10 09:50:37 EST 2015


Sonnets and waves and Spenser -- of course one thinks of "Amoretti" 75:

ONE day I wrote her name vpon the strand,
  but came the waues and washed it away:
  agayne I wrote it with a second hand,
  but came the tyde, and made my paynes his pray.
Vayne man, sayd she, that doest in vaine assay,
  a mortall thing so to immortalize.
  for I my selue shall lyke to this decay,
  and eek my name bee wyped out lykewize.
Not so, (quod I) let baser things deuize,
  to dy in dust, but you shall liue by fame:
  my verse your vertues rare shall eternize,
  and in the heuens wryte your glorious name.
Where whenas death shall all the world subdew,
  our loue shall liue, and later life renew.

Terry
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Terry Ross                                                  tross at ubalt.edu
ShakespeareAuthorship.com

________________________________________
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of jsavoie at siue.edu [jsavoie at siue.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 8:43 AM
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Longfellow on Milton

Different John here, but Spenser and his alexandrine seems to be the
association.

As a child swimming in oceans and Lake Michigan, with no thought of
epic poets, we cultivated the legend of the special powers of the
ninth wave, though some learned it as the seventh wave.  Evidently it
is an old story.

As for Longfellow's poem, I'm curious if he had specific poems and
poets in mind for waves 1-8.  If so, Homer to begin, Spencer near the
end.

John Savoie


Quoting Jameela Lares <jameela.lares at usm.edu>:

> Why do you say that, John?  I have never thought of Spenser in terms
> of movement such as a wave suggests--build up, spread,
> aftermath--but rather in terms of static if beautiful tableau.  It
> seems to me that Spenser spends half a stanza moving to the next
> scene and then 7-9 stanzas describing it.
>
> Or are you saying that your own mind feels more engulfed while
> reading Spenser than while reading Milton?
>
> Or are you saying that Spenser's cadences are more majestic and undulating?
>
> Or--?
>
> By the way, I have seen this poem before, but I never noticed the
> "sheeted emerald" before.  Nice! Thanks, Bob Blair.
>
> 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 Hale
> <john.hale at otago.ac.nz>
> Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 1:50 AM
> To: John Milton Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Longfellow on Milton
>
> The ninth wave fits Spenser better.
> John Hale
>
> ________________________________________
> From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
> [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of Bob Blair
> [bblair48 at yahoo.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, 10 February 2015 7:20 p.m.
> To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
> Subject: [Milton-L] Longfellow on Milton
>
> I'm probably the last person on this list to discover Longfellow's
> sonnet on Milton.  The theme of the ninth wave is so powerful,
> though, that I'm not ashamed to republlsh it:
>
> I pace the sounding sea-beach and behold
>       How the voluminous billows roll and run,
>       Upheaving and subsiding, while the sun
>       Shines through their sheeted emerald far unrolled,
> And the ninth wave, slow gathering fold by fold
>       All its loose-flowing garments into one,
>       Plunges upon the shore, and floods the dun
>       Pale reach of sands, and changes them to gold.
> So in majestic cadence rise and fall
>       The mighty undulations of thy song,
>       O sightless bard, England's Mæonides!
> And ever and anon, high over all
>       Uplifted, a ninth wave superb and strong,
>       Floods all the soul with its melodious seas.
>
>
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