[Milton-L] Longfellow on Milton

Mary Grace Elliott mge1108 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 10 10:10:09 EST 2015


I agree that the waves allusion brings Spenser to mind, but the "sightless bard"? Doesn't that seem a most obvious Milton reference?

Best,
Mary Grace Elliott

Sent by magic!

> On Feb 10, 2015, at 09:50, Terry Ross <tross at ubalt.edu> wrote:
> 
> 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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> 
> 
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