[Milton-L] One should abstain from Milton quotes if . . .

Watt, James jwatt at butler.edu
Sun Nov 29 15:26:52 EST 2015


Friends:

It warms my heart to listen in to this list's deep and abiding commitment to JM's powerful intellect and equally strong emotional faith in a deity/energy in the universe working always to bless and realize the growth of souls, all of them, everywhere. I was lucky enough to teach Milton to students at Butler University during my time there (1970-2005). And though the school began as a Protestant School for missionaries, only separating from Christian Theological Seminary after World War II, a significant number of those students were Roman Catholics. I used to enjoy introducing them to the fact that, for American catholics, JM was far more influential than Bonaventure and Aquinas put together. Indeed, though he had the English suspicion of all things coming out of Rome, Milton would be, I think, more at home in America these days than England.  I'll add my Thanksgiving and Christmas best wishes along with Carol Barton (whom I always read with profit and pleasure)!  Jim Watt, Allegra Stewart Professor Emeritus, B.U.
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From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of Kemmer Anderson [kanderso at mccallie.org]
Sent: Sunday, November 29, 2015 2:38 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] One should abstain from Milton quotes if . . .

Carter, I have been reading the Dylan Thomas poem, "The Conversation of Prayer" a number of times. What a beautiful poem filled with repetition and slant rhyme. The "intimate social interaction' that you mention seems about the "sound about to be said in the two prayers" rather than the words. I guess it has to be about "sound' as mystery but also the need to slant rhyme with "ground."  I flipped over to "Ceremony after a Fire Raid." Dylan Thomas is so powerful: "Love is the last light spoken." The echo points to the beginning of Book 3 Paradise Lost, the first light: "Hail Holy Light, offspring of Heav'n first born,". Then in Part II, Thomas moves the poem to "the Garden of Eden" with powerful images of Adam and Eve.  May we all "hammer through daisies" with metaphor, rhythm, and reason. Kemmer

On Sun, Nov 29, 2015 at 12:41 PM, Stella Revard <srevard at siue.edu<mailto:srevard at siue.edu>> wrote:
Thanks, Dario, for the Pontifical Council's unwary tweet of Milton's epigram.  Assuming that "conversation" was Milton's English word here, it's worth noting that the word had a much deeper meaning in his time than in ours:  it could refer not just to "talk" but intimate social interaction.  I think that's how Milton would have been using it in the quoted passage.  The only contemporary writer who made use of that deeper set of meanings for it, so far as I know, is Dylan Thomas in "The Conversation of Prayers," but I suspect Eliot may somewhere have used it thataway.

All best,

Carter


On 11/29/15, Dario Rivarossa <dario.rivarossa at gmail.com<mailto:dario.rivarossa at gmail.com>> wrote:
Not meant as an offense against Catholics (me included), but.
In a recent written statement, the head of the Pontifical Council for
the Family, the Italian bishop Vincenzo Paglia, reported a quotation
from Milton. No source indicated, so this is just a back-version from
Italian:
"A good marriage is a pleasant and happy conversation."
He probably aimed to look well-read, but probably found the sentence
in Chinese biscuits or the like. Someone here should be so kind as to
inform him about the life & works of John Milton with reference to
marriage.

Best!

--
il Tassista http://tassonomia.blogspot.it e http://stornielle.blogspot.it
co-artist with the Magic Trio http://tiziafra.wix.com/the-magic-trio
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