[Milton-L] "Particular Falls"

Matthew Jordan matthewjorda at gmail.com
Tue Jan 20 18:55:10 EST 2015


Which then suggests God as inconsolable parent...

On 20 January 2015 at 23:53, Matthew Jordan <matthewjorda at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>>>>>> Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu <Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu>>
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>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> 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>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
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>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
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>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
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>>>
>>>
>>
>
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