[Milton-L] "Particular Falls"

Horace Jeffery Hodges horacejeffery at gmail.com
Tue Jan 20 20:05:37 EST 2015


Matthew wrote: "Just business."

Nice pun on two meanings of "just."

Jeffery Hodges


On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 9:52 AM, Matthew Jordan <matthewjorda at gmail.com>
wrote:

> "Just business."
>
> On 21 January 2015 at 00:37, Carol Barton, Ph.D., CPCM <
> cbartonphd1 at verizon.net> wrote:
>
>>  Moreso among humans . . . as JM learned, and we are still learning.
>> The gods tend to be more impersonal about it.
>>
>>  *From:* Salwa Khoddam <skhoddam at cox.net>
>> *Sent:* Tuesday, January 20, 2015 7:22 PM
>> *To:* 'John Milton Discussion List' <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>> *Subject:* Re: [Milton-L] "Particular Falls"
>>
>>  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
>>
>> 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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