[Milton-L] "Particular Falls"

Matthew Jordan matthewjorda at gmail.com
Tue Jan 20 18:53:47 EST 2015


I'm also thinking of the famous Herbert poems which stage divine
intercession...

On 20 January 2015 at 23:44, Matthew Jordan <matthewjorda at gmail.com> wrote:

> Ie. there are falls which are part of a larger movement or harmony, and
> falls which, er, aren't...there is pattern or order to the late falls,
> here, but it's static - or at least not, aha, regenerative...or summat...
>
> On 20 January 2015 at 23:41, Matthew Jordan <matthewjorda at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> Sometimes particular verbal cruces get me going, sometimes more nebulous
>> notions.
>>
>> I'm starting vague, here: Fortunate Fall (obv.), plus something I think I
>> once read in Michael McKeon, tho I can hardly believe he was the first:
>> that the idea of "poetic justice" takes hold in a world that no longer
>> believes in the other kind...
>>
>> Please bear in mind it's rather later, here; at least for me...
>>
>> On 20 January 2015 at 21:44, john rumrich <rumrich at austin.utexas.edu>
>> wrote:
>>
>>>
>>>
>>> The last three words are intriguing metrically, too, since after the
>>> initial trochee (Never) the line changes from two successive iambic feet
>>> (to hope to rise) to a trochee (Pity) and then to what in the metrical
>>> context reads to me like an ambiguous iamb with a lot of stress on "their."
>>>  *Their* god might not be god unmodified by a possessive.
>>>
>>> I'm not denying the Empsonian ambiguity; it strikes me as as even more
>>> ambiguous than that, however.
>>>
>>> {This was bounced at first; I'm now sending a slightly modified version
>>> from my institutional address.}
>>>
>>> On Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 3:26 PM, john rumrich <rumrichj at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> The last three words are intriguing metrically, too, since the line
>>>> changes from two successive iambic feet to a trochee and then to what reads
>>>> to me like an ambiguous iamb with a lot of stress on "their."  *Their*
>>>> god might not be god unmodified by a possessive.
>>>>
>>>> I'm not denying the Empsonian ambiguity; it strikes me as as even more
>>>> ambiguous than that, however.
>>>>
>>>> On Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 2:36 PM, Matthew Jordan <matthewjorda at gmail.com
>>>> > wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Just very quickly (for now): the notion I had in mind was a kind of
>>>>> step beyond Empson's view of Milton's God - that He's a horror, but horrors
>>>>> are also pitiable and pitiful...I haven't thought through the rest of the
>>>>> poem in light of that possibility...yet...
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On 20 January 2015 at 20:14, Stella Revard <srevard at siue.edu> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> Okay, the real challenge of the poem is its last three words, in
>>>>>> which I assume Rogers shocks us with what seems a request to her readers
>>>>>> (us) to have pity on "their" god, and I assume the antecedent of "their" is
>>>>>> the fallen angels.  (A possible alternative reading might take "pity" as a
>>>>>> noun....)  What do you expert readers of poetry think is her point in those
>>>>>> last three words, which seem to bring the whole poem to such a (to me)
>>>>>> surprising completion?  Why pity, and why pity for "their god," not for the
>>>>>> fallen beings in their hopeless eternal torment?  And would a good answer
>>>>>> here bring out even more strongly the "Miltonic" dimensions of the poem?
>>>>>> Maybe useful questions for MLK Day.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> With best wishes,
>>>>>> Carter
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On 01/20/15, *Matthew Jordan * <matthewjorda at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> It may be almost too obvious to say, but the "Not...not..." thing
>>>>>> (and "nec...nec"?) is typically Miltonic / epic...
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On 20 January 2015 at 16:15, Matthew Jordan <matthewjorda at gmail.com <
>>>>>> matthewjorda at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Good stuff! Thanks.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> As a comparison / contrast, my recollection is that in eg.
>>>>>>> Augustine, rather gruesomely (morbidly??), one of the pleasures of the
>>>>>>> saved is precisely their good view of the suffering of the damned . . . (?)
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Best, Matt
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On 20 January 2015 at 16:06, Stella Revard <srevard at siue.edu <
>>>>>>> srevard at siue.edu>> wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Thanks, Nancy, for sending on the poem by Pattiann Rogers.  She is
>>>>>>>> one of the best poets now writing in the US, but has not been given her due
>>>>>>>> by the cliquers and claquers of the Award Giving dumbasses.  And the
>>>>>>>> Georgia Review prints a lot of veryt fine work. Nice to know you are
>>>>>>>> reading it well.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On 01/20/15, *Hannibal Hamlin * <hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com <
>>>>>>>> hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Thanks. The use of enjambment (all that carefully positioned
>>>>>>>> falling) also seems somewhat Miltonic.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Hannibal
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 2:36 AM, Nancy Charlton <
>>>>>>>> charltonwordorder1 at gmail.com <charltonwordorder1 at gmail.com> <
>>>>>>>> charltonwordorder1 at gmail.com <charltonwordorder1 at gmail.com>>>
>>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> I felt that you all would enjoy this poem. Since I couldn't get
>>>>>>>>> Poetry Daily to send it from their form, I'll take my chances with the
>>>>>>>>> copyright police and simply copy it into this email.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> The last stanza (?) is particularly Miltonic.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Nancy Charlton
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Particular Falls
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Not as three strands of braided hair,
>>>>>>>>> being loosened, fall then together in waves
>>>>>>>>> to touch the shoulders; and not as a white-
>>>>>>>>> winged hawk releases and falls sinking
>>>>>>>>> on the wind until its wings swerve upward
>>>>>>>>> riding the current again toward the sun.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Not the freefall that comes before
>>>>>>>>> the parachute spreads and opens above
>>>>>>>>> like a prayer and halts the plunge;
>>>>>>>>> and not the tumbling fall of an acrobat
>>>>>>>>> before he catches the trapeze his partner
>>>>>>>>> drops as she falls to catch his feet.
>>>>>>>>> Not any of those falls.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> And not the continual plummeting
>>>>>>>>> fall of mountain snowmelt creating icy
>>>>>>>>> weather in summer; nor the spider gliding
>>>>>>>>> down her string, floating more than falling
>>>>>>>>> in descent just as day falls and drifts
>>>>>>>>> in its own ways into night; and not as one falls
>>>>>>>>> with eyes closed into sleep where faith
>>>>>>>>> is with the falling; nor as one falls
>>>>>>>>> into love where riotous ascent begins
>>>>>>>>> simultaneous with the falling.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> But consider the falling that is immutable:
>>>>>>>>> the naked body of a nestling lying spilled
>>>>>>>>> and broken on the sidewalk; wind-felled fruit,
>>>>>>>>> sick odor of rotting pulp below the tree, slick
>>>>>>>>> mass oozing into earth; the cold, frightening
>>>>>>>>> stillness of those who lie fallen in battle.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> And remember the story of the bleakest
>>>>>>>>> fall, the fall of those who once were angels,
>>>>>>>>> who fell and fell into the deepest chasm
>>>>>>>>> of blindness, irredeemable, never to rise,
>>>>>>>>> never to hope to rise. Pity their god.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> PATTIANN ROGERS <http://poems.com/feature.php?date=16455>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> The Georgia Review <http://garev.uga.edu/>
>>>>>>>>> Winter 2014
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>> Milton-L mailing list
>>>>>>>>> Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu <Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu> <
>>>>>>>>> Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu <Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu>>
>>>>>>>>> Manage your list membership and access list archives at
>>>>>>>>> http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>> Hannibal Hamlin
>>>>>>>> Professor of English
>>>>>>>> The Ohio State University
>>>>>>>> Author of *The Bible in Shakespeare*, now available through all
>>>>>>>> good bookshops, or direct from Oxford University Press at
>>>>>>>> http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199677610.do
>>>>>>>> Editor, *Reformation*
>>>>>>>> 164 West 17th Ave., 421 Denney Hall
>>>>>>>> Columbus, OH 43210-1340
>>>>>>>> hamlin.22 at osu.edu/
>>>>>>>> hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com <hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com> <
>>>>>>>> hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com <hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>> Milton-L mailing list
>>>>>>>> Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu <Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu>
>>>>>>>> Manage your list membership and access list archives at
>>>>>>>> http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> Milton-L mailing list
>>>>>> Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
>>>>>> Manage your list membership and access list archives at
>>>>>> http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> Milton-L mailing list
>>>>> Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
>>>>> Manage your list membership and access list archives at
>>>>> http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>>>>>
>>>>> Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Milton-L mailing list
>>> Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
>>> Manage your list membership and access list archives at
>>> http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>>>
>>> Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
>>>
>>
>>
>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.richmond.edu/pipermail/milton-l/attachments/20150120/c8b132aa/attachment-0001.html>


More information about the Milton-L mailing list