[Milton-L] "Particular Falls"

Matthew Jordan matthewjorda at gmail.com
Tue Jan 20 19:31:38 EST 2015


And yet also, in some ways, inherent in the whole gameshow...

On 21 January 2015 at 00:22, Salwa Khoddam <skhoddam at cox.net> wrote:

> Betrayal is hard to endure among humans and gods.
>
> Salwa
>
>
>
> Salwa Khoddam PhD
>
> Professor of English Emerita
>
> Oklahoma City University
>
> Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
>
> Email: skhoddam at cox.net
>
> Author of *Mythopoeic Narnia: Memory, Metaphor,*
>
> *and Metamorphoses in C. S. Lewis’s *The Chronicles
>
> of Narnia
>
>
>
> *From:* milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [mailto:
> milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] *On Behalf Of *john rumrich
> *Sent:* Tuesday, January 20, 2015 3:44 PM
> *To:* John Milton Discussion List
> *Subject:* Re: [Milton-L] "Particular Falls"
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> 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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> --
>
> 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
>
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