[Milton-L] "Particular Falls"

Matthew Jordan matthewjorda at gmail.com
Tue Jan 20 20:06:36 EST 2015


Thanks!

On 21 January 2015 at 01:05, Horace Jeffery Hodges <horacejeffery at gmail.com>
wrote:

> 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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>>
>>
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