[Milton-L] Milton-L Digest, Vol 113, Issue 31

Matthew Jordan matthewjorda at gmail.com
Sat Apr 16 14:10:05 EDT 2016


Dear All

Maybe there is a clue to the phenomenon Roy Flanagan describes (the sense that being "excessively" moved by poetry is ridiculous) in Geoffrey Hill's admission, in "September Song" - an elegy for a young victim of the Holicaust- that "(I have made / An elegy for myself it / Is true."

Best

Matt

Sent from my iPhone

> On 16 Apr 2016, at 18:55, John K Leonard <jleonard at uwo.ca> wrote:
> 
> There was a story (posted on this list a few years back) about a professor (unnamed) from back in the day who would routinely do what Roy describes--then cancel the class (too moved to carry on) and go golfing. Being moved by poetry does have material advantages!
> 
>> On 04/16/16, Roy Flannagan <royflannagan at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I knew of one Miltonist of the 1950s whose method of teaching M's poetry was to read a line or two of a poem by Milton to his undergraduate students, then say "Isn't that lovely," then bread into tears, displaying what may have been genuine feeling for what he had just read.
>> 
>> There are some hymns and even some popular songs that are moving and may even cause a tear to form or tears to fall, but why is it that when we are genuinely moved by great poetry, we only look ridiculous?
>> 
>> 
>> Roy​ Flannagan​
>> 
>>> On Sat, Apr 16, 2016 at 11:55 AM, <milton-l-request at richmond.edu> wrote:
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>>> 
>>> Today's Topics:
>>> 
>>>    1. Re: finding the bad in what you find good (Carrol Cox)
>>>    2. Re: finding the bad in what you find good (Jameela Lares)
>>>    3. finding the bad in what you find good, installment 2
>>>       (Gregory Machacek)
>>>    4. Re: finding the bad in what you find good (James Rovira)
>>>    5. Re: Syntax of Sonnet 23 (Michael Gillum)
>>> 
>>> 
>>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> 
>>> Message: 1
>>> Date: Sat, 16 Apr 2016 08:00:26 -0500
>>> From: "Carrol Cox" <cbcox at ilstu.edu>
>>> To: "'John Milton Discussion List'" <milton-l at richmond.edu>
>>> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] finding the bad in what you find good
>>> Message-ID: <004501d197df$f1f2afd0$d5d80f70$@ilstu.edu>
>>> Content-Type: text/plain;       charset="us-ascii"
>>> 
>>> When the discussion turns to either "X is good" or "X is bad" I tend to
>>> return in my memory to the "Polemical Introduction" of Northrop Frye's
>>> _Anatomy of Criticism_. "Evaluation" is simply not a very interesting
>>> critical mode. Moreover, no one ever bothers to prove that some piece of
>>> newspaper verse is "bad"; silence is the mode for negative criticism. Check
>>> out Twain's "Sweet Singer of Michigan"; do you really want to spend time
>>> "proving" that she was as bad as Twain believed she was? "Who breaks a
>>> butterfly upon a wheel?"
>>> 
>>> Moreover,  attempts at negative evaluation of a text raise a prior question:
>>> What difference does it makes if someone sits delighting in a poem that
>>> someone else thinks is bad? Did "It takes a heap o' learning" cause death
>>> and destruction?
>>> 
>>> Carrol
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> ------------------------------
>>> 
>>> Message: 2
>>> Date: Sat, 16 Apr 2016 13:16:10 +0000
>>> From: Jameela Lares <jameela.lares at usm.edu>
>>> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at richmond.edu>
>>> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] finding the bad in what you find good
>>> Message-ID:
>>>         <SN1PR10MB0590D0BD23094436EF570509E7690 at SN1PR10MB0590.namprd10.prod.outlook.com>
>>> 
>>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>>> 
>>> Here is Charles Schultz on the issue: tinyurl.com/zyfgwud.
>>> 
>>> Jameela Lares
>>> 
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu [mailto:milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Carrol Cox
>>> Sent: Saturday, April 16, 2016 8:00 AM
>>> To: 'John Milton Discussion List' <milton-l at richmond.edu>
>>> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] finding the bad in what you find good
>>> 
>>> When the discussion turns to either "X is good" or "X is bad" I tend to return in my memory to the "Polemical Introduction" of Northrop Frye's _Anatomy of Criticism_. "Evaluation" is simply not a very interesting critical mode. Moreover, no one ever bothers to prove that some piece of newspaper verse is "bad"; silence is the mode for negative criticism. Check out Twain's "Sweet Singer of Michigan"; do you really want to spend time "proving" that she was as bad as Twain believed she was? "Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?"
>>> 
>>> Moreover,  attempts at negative evaluation of a text raise a prior question:
>>> What difference does it makes if someone sits delighting in a poem that someone else thinks is bad? Did "It takes a heap o' learning" cause death and destruction?
>>> 
>>> Carrol
>>> 
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> 
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>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> ------------------------------
>>> 
>>> Message: 3
>>> Date: Sat, 16 Apr 2016 10:26:42 -0400
>>> From: Gregory Machacek <Gregory.Machacek at marist.edu>
>>> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at richmond.edu>
>>> Subject: [Milton-L] finding the bad in what you find good, installment
>>>         2
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>>> Message: 4
>>> Date: Sat, 16 Apr 2016 11:27:31 -0400
>>> From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
>>> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at richmond.edu>
>>> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] finding the bad in what you find good
>>> Message-ID: <BD85CEDF-9E97-482D-8EA6-3699A0445EBA at gmail.com>
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>>> 
>>> I very much appreciate Carrol's comments, because that is how I have been feeling.
>>> 
>>> I would also invert the idea in his second paragraph to add that a heap of learning can't turn dung into gold. Erudition can kill appreciation of perfectly fine verse as well as elevate shoddy and careless verse into something it just is not. In either case, the scholar is more in love with his or her reading of the poem than the poem itself, and the two are still two different things.
>>> 
>>> But there's still that sticky activity of evaluation in itself: is there ever any value in saying this line or poem is good and this one is bad?
>>> 
>>> When I read a lot of this kind of criticism published between 30s and the 70s, sometimes I felt like the scholar was more interested in (usually) his own reading of the poem, and establishing his own credentials through his judgment of the poem. It's as if the greatness of the poems were somehow completely dependent upon the scholar's valuation, rather than the scholar recognizing the inherent merit of the poem and articulating just what that merit is.
>>> 
>>> I realize that both are going on at once, but at the same time, it's fair to say that if somebody doesn't recognize the greatness of Paradise Lost, they are lacking somehow, and that's not the fault of the poem.  They don't have to like it, but they should acknowledge its many merits.
>>> 
>>> So I think we should start out with our immediate reading of the poem: when we read the poem, does this line sound awkward? Does the awkwardness itself convey meaning; e.g., Elton John stumbling over some of the words in "Your Song" when the songwriter is trying to describe the difficulty of the writing process, and how that stumbling conveys the depth of feeling that the songwriter has for the woman he loves. It's like having a perfectly iambic poem with one line containing the word "overflowing" that has eleven syllables.
>>> 
>>> So no one's demanding perfect regularity, just that the irregularity means something or adds to the poem.
>>> 
>>> And this is where the clever critic comes in: anything can be given meaning with enough work. And at that point we need only invoke Milton's obvious genius to justify any form of critical cleverness.
>>> 
>>> And then there's that word "bad" itself: do we mean bad in relationship to all of Milton's poetry? Do we mean bad in relationship every sonnet ever written? Is this Edward Bulwer-Lytton bad, or just bad relative to Milton? It can be a perfectly fine poem, just not as good as other poems Milton has written. Are we willing to admit that Milton can possibly be something less than an absolute genius in any line of his poetry? Isn't is it absolutely ridiculous to think he can't, or that if he ever was, he is so beyond us that we are not capable of noticing?
>>> 
>>> I learn more from these discussions in the way that people defend and present their positions than in any of their conclusions. All informed positions are therefore useful. It's just unfortunate that the ones that don't acknowledge fault happen to be wrong in this case.
>>> 
>>> Ha.
>>> 
>>> Jim R
>>> 
>>> 
>>> > On Apr 16, 2016, at 9:00 AM, Carrol Cox <cbcox at ilstu.edu> wrote:
>>> >
>>> > When the discussion turns to either "X is good" or "X is bad" I tend to
>>> > return in my memory to the "Polemical Introduction" of Northrop Frye's
>>> > _Anatomy of Criticism_. "Evaluation" is simply not a very interesting
>>> > critical mode. Moreover, no one ever bothers to prove that some piece of
>>> > newspaper verse is "bad"; silence is the mode for negative criticism. Check
>>> > out Twain's "Sweet Singer of Michigan"; do you really want to spend time
>>> > "proving" that she was as bad as Twain believed she was? "Who breaks a
>>> > butterfly upon a wheel?"
>>> >
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> ------------------------------
>>> 
>>> Message: 5
>>> Date: Sat, 16 Apr 2016 11:55:53 -0400
>>> From: Michael Gillum <mgillum at unca.edu>
>>> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at richmond.edu>
>>> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Syntax of Sonnet 23
>>> Message-ID:
>>>         <CAMwPjH+5EYuHpCkipdP_Jmg885k+xdmWGvqDcJn5GOYPXw4d9Q at mail.gmail.com>
>>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>>> 
>>> Carl,
>>> 
>>> I'm not familiar with Milton's reference to "fixed feet." Where can I find
>>> that?
>>> 
>>> To those who think it obvious that the 16th- and 17th-c poets thought of
>>> English verse as foot verse--please consider reading Derek Attridge,
>>> *Well-Weighed
>>> Syllables.*
>>> 
>>> Sidney, for example, says nothing about English feet, but name the meters
>>> by their syllable-count. Iambic pentameter to Sidney was "our verse of ten
>>> syllables."And "Now of versifying there are two sorts, the one ancient, the
>>> other modern: the ancient marked the quantity of each syllable, and
>>> according to that framed his verse; the modern observing only number (with
>>> some regard of the accent), the chief life of it standeth in that like
>>> sounding of the words, which we call rhyme."  "
>>> 
>>> On Sat, Apr 16, 2016 at 1:04 AM, JCarl Bellinger <dionhalic at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>> 
>>> > "five little iambs in a row?" Oops  Hit the damn send button much too soon:
>>> > Dear colleagues please ignore the mess of an unfinished email I just now
>>> > sent. i'll fix it and send it tomorrow insha'Allah.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > On Saturday, April 16, 2016, JCarl Bellinger <dionhalic at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> >
>>> >> I agree with Richard Strier that we would do well (but this is my wording
>>> >> not his) we would do well to be recognizing the metrical foot mwhen
>>> >> approaching the scansion of the 17th c. Eng pentameter line. For one thing
>>> >> the poets, not infrequently as I read, will set out five little iambs in a
>>> >> row, and set them out so baldly they become a kind of
>>> >> tongue-in-cheek emblem of what Milton, with elegant dismissiveness, refers
>>> >> to in Of Education as "the prosody of a verse, which they could not but
>>> >> have hit on before among the rudiments of Grammar."
>>> >>
>>> >> _demands_ we notice the prosodic wit
>>> >>
>>> >> because that's simply how versification was taught in the schools,
>>> >> "always & everywhere" as I assume
>>> >>
>>> >> What poet or actor or educated reader from  Spenser to Milton would
>>> >> gainsay M's formulation that metrical verse ?line by line by line? is a
>>> >> matter of "fixed feet & syllables?" In the English iambic pentameter the
>>> >> fixed feet is five, the fixed syllables is two per foot. I assume this
>>> >> simply is how "the prosody of a verse" was everywhere taught in the
>>> >> schools up to, if not well beyond, Milton's generation. "I do not mean the
>>> >> prosody of a verse" says Milton "which they could not but have got by now
>>> >> in the rudiments of grammar."
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >> own view Is substantially the same I think as Richard'smatter of
>>> >> recognizing the 17th century recognition 'seeing the feet'
>>> >> of 17th-century of the Olympic pentameter line is substantially the same
>>> >> as Richards
>>> >>
>>> >> On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, Gardner Campbell <
>>> >> gardner.campbell at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> >>
>>> >>> As a side note, it's possible that instances such as these were what
>>> >>> Hopkins tried to theorize as "sprung rhythm." The line of monosyllables
>>> >>> John Leonard quotes could be considered as pentameter while recognizing
>>> >>> that the life of the line (Hopkins might have called it the line's
>>> >>> "instress") consists almost entirely of stress. The line from Sonnet 23
>>> >>> would be sprung as well, but in a manner closer to traditional prosody
>>> >>> while not specifically conforming to it, especially not as said aloud.
>>> >>>
>>> >>> Gardner
>>> >>>
>>> >>> On Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 5:34 PM, John K Leonard <jleonard at uwo.ca> wrote:
>>> >>>
>>> >>>> For Richard: So would you scan the line with six stresses?
>>> >>>> (PURificATion IN th'OLD LAW did SAVE)? The scansion I suggested (trochee,
>>> >>>> iamb, pyrrhic, spondee, iamb) preserves the traditional five (pyrrhic
>>> >>>> balancing spondee) and so would better fit the expectations of iambic
>>> >>>> pentameter. That said, I do think Milton is willing to go beyond five
>>> >>>> stresses in a line when he wants to. "Rocks, caves, lakes, fens, bogs,
>>> >>>> dens, and shades of death" (2.621) has 8 stresses to my ear, and the
>>> >>>> internal rhymes urges us to give full weight to the rhyming words. But I
>>> >>>> just do not hear the stress on "IN" that you hear in "Purification in the
>>> >>>> old law". I hope I do not sound dogmatic. I think there can be more than
>>> >>>> one right way of scanning a line. I think it was De Quincey who said that a
>>> >>>> prosodist can be put down with shame by "another man" reading the line with
>>> >>>> a different emphasis, and I have heard Milton read beautifully by many
>>> >>>> different people (including and especially John Creaser). Like you, I have
>>> >>>> some reservations about the Attridge system. I think it has the potential
>>> >>>> to be as schematic and reductive and reifying as the prosodic system it
>>> >>>> would supplant. But in Creaser's hands it is a supple and versatile tool,
>>> >>>> and Creaser is quite aware that poets in our period "thought in terms of"
>>> >>>> feet, but thinking in terms of is not the same as procrustean prescription.
>>> >>>> I think it was Puttenham who used the phrase "something like an iamb". That
>>> >>>> "something like" is a salutory reminder that prosody should be descriptive,
>>> >>>> not prescriptive. The danger with any system in my view (even Attridge's)
>>> >>>> is that it can become an end in itself rather than a tool to facilitate
>>> >>>> description. Creaser is wonderful on the line "Shoots invisible virtue even
>>> >>>> to the deep".  Eighteenth-century editors recognized that the line was
>>> >>>> mimetic of rapid movement. When you are flying at the speed of light you
>>> >>>> don't have time to count pedantic feet!
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> All best,
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> John
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> On 04/13/16, *"Richard A. Strier" * <rastrier at uchicago.edu> wrote:
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> I disagree with Creaser with regard to foot prosody, which is what all
>>> >>>> poets of our period thought and wrote in terms of.  But that is a MUCH
>>> >>>> longer discussion.
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> As to the particular line in question, I really do think that we must
>>> >>>> consider "in" as receiving metrical stress.  The reason for this is not
>>> >>>> just to eliminate some excessive weirdness, but also because there IS in
>>> >>>> fact a difference in stress between "tion" and "in," however small.  As Tim
>>> >>>> Steele points out in his terrific book on formal effects in poetry, all
>>> >>>> that is needed to produce a metrical pattern is *some* difference
>>> >>>> between syllables.  (This is why the old Trager and Smith "levels of
>>> >>>> stress" prosody -- which bedeviled Arnold Stein's book on Herbert -- was so
>>> >>>> unhelpful with regard to meter, however useful it may have been with regard
>>> >>>> to performance).
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> Cheers,
>>> >>>> RS
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> Richard Strier
>>> >>>> Sulzberger Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus
>>> >>>> Editor, *Modern Philology*
>>> >>>> Department of English
>>> >>>> University of Chicago
>>> >>>> 1115 E. 58th St.
>>> >>>> Chicago, IL 60637
>>> >>>> ------------------------------
>>> >>>> *From:* milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu]
>>> >>>> on behalf of John K Leonard [jleonard at uwo.ca]
>>> >>>> *Sent:* Wednesday, April 13, 2016 2:52 PM
>>> >>>> *To:* John Milton Discussion List
>>> >>>> *Subject:* Re: [Milton-L] Syntax of Sonnet 23
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> Adrian Poole has a lovely reading of this sonnet, which he discusses
>>> >>>> (alongside Euripides' *Alcestis)* in *Tragedy: Shakespeare and the
>>> >>>> Greek Example *(Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987)., pp. 148-9. He is
>>> >>>> especially good on "the massively recalcitrant syntax of the lines
>>> >>>> beginning 'Mine as whom'", which he relates to the dreamer's wish that the
>>> >>>> dream not end (the sentence refuses to let go, as dreamers do, when they
>>> >>>> decide, even in sleep, to keep dreaming). Johnson probably disliked the way
>>> >>>> the sentence continues into the sestet, refusing the "restraint" of strong
>>> >>>> punctuation at the end of the octave, but "without restraint" tells us that
>>> >>>> Milton knew exactly what he was doing and the main verb "Came" is perfectly
>>> >>>> timed and placed to signal the dreamer's refusal to let go of his vision.
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> As for the scansion, I think problems arise only if we insist on
>>> >>>> imposing reified feet or (worse) confuse elision with synaloepha. Milton in
>>> >>>> his mature verse rarely "elides" a syllable in the sense of cutting it out.
>>> >>>> He prefers to melt two vowels together. I think this is what happens with
>>> >>>> "the old Law" where "the old" is a slur rather than an aggressively lopped
>>> >>>> monosyllable ("th'old"). We mangle the line if we start lopping syllables
>>> >>>> off (a mistake Johnson makes when scanning Milton in his four *Rambler*
>>> >>>> papers on *Paradise Lost*).  To prune "Purification" to "Pur'fication"
>>> >>>> (and I recognize that Louis was not advocating that) would be to scan with
>>> >>>> Midas' ears.  I don't hear any stress on "in". If we are going to use
>>> >>>> neoclassical terms, I would scan trochee, iamb, pyrrhic, spondee, iamb
>>> >>>> (PURifiCATion in thEOLD LAW did SAVE). But John Creaser has argued that
>>> >>>> neoclassical foot prosody is a crude instrument for reading Milton, and
>>> >>>> this line lends some support to his view.
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> John Leonard
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> On 04/13/16, *Michael Gillum *<mgillum at unca.edu> wrote:
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> Would Johnson have been annoyed by catching a whiff of Puritanism in
>>> >>>> the way Milton uses "saint" and in the reference to OT law?
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> On Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 2:51 PM, Richard A. Strier <
>>> >>>> rastrier at uchicago.edu> wrote:
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>>> I think Michael's scansion is the right one.  "Th' old" is a normal
>>> >>>>> elision.
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> So I would scan the line:  ' _ / _' / _' / ' ' / _ '
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> This gives a normal inversion in the first foot (most common of all
>>> >>>>> metrical variants in iambic pentameter) and a spondee in the 4th foot (not
>>> >>>>> too weird).  The metrical stress on "in" is required.
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Cheers,
>>> >>>>> RS
>>> >>>>> ------------------------------
>>> >>>>> *From:* milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu]
>>> >>>>> on behalf of Schwartz, Louis [lschwart at richmond.edu]
>>> >>>>> *Sent:* Wednesday, April 13, 2016 1:23 PM
>>> >>>>> *To:* John Milton Discussion List
>>> >>>>> *Subject:* Re: [Milton-L] Syntax of Sonnet 23
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Michael,
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> That?s very good!  I?d add two things:
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> 1)      I think the elided syllable could be the second one in
>>> >>>>> ?purification? instead, which might not have pleased Johnson, but allows
>>> >>>>> for a somewhat less complex metrical reading of the line
>>> >>>>> [/x/xx//x/]?although I actually prefer the rhythm of the line without
>>> >>>>> elision.  And maybe Milton intended the irregularity in number?
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> 2)      You are right that Johnson probably did not like the long
>>> >>>>> syntactic tangle, and I imagine he also did not like the way it delays the
>>> >>>>> predicate until after the end of the octave violating a structural
>>> >>>>> expectation.  The end-stopped line break at ?restraint? is brilliant to my
>>> >>>>> ears, however, because of the way it both fulfills the restraint of the
>>> >>>>> form on the level of the rhyme and also marks the moment at which Milton?s
>>> >>>>> syntax pushes past it (ending one part of the sentence only to be followed
>>> >>>>> immediately by the bigger syntactic ending introduced in the next line?and
>>> >>>>> right on that first syllable).  And I like the way the twists and
>>> >>>>> stretching in the syntax lends energy to the ricocheting in time, from the
>>> >>>>> remembered moment of the dream, back to the biblical past, and then
>>> >>>>> headlong forward into a hoped for Christian afterlife, before then
>>> >>>>> returning to the night and the bedroom.  When he finally gets back to the
>>> >>>>> dream at ?came,? the imagined spouse is imbued with all of that history,
>>> >>>>> theological and typological resonance, and longing.
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Louis
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> ===========================
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Louis Schwartz
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Professor of English
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Chair, English Department
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> University of Richmond
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> 28 Westhampton Way
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Richmond, VA  23173
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Office:  Ryland Hall 308
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Phone:  (804) 289-8315
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Email:  lschwart at richmond.edu
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> *From:* milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu [mailto:
>>> >>>>> milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu] *On Behalf Of *Michael Gillum
>>> >>>>> *Sent:* Wednesday, April 13, 2016 1:53 PM
>>> >>>>> *To:* John Milton Discussion List
>>> >>>>> *Subject:* [Milton-L] Syntax of Sonnet 23
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> I wonder why Sam Johnson judged Sonnet 23 ?a poor sonnet.? Maybe it
>>> >>>>> was the tangled syntax of this part:
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Mine *as whom* washt from spot of *child-bed taint*, [ 5 ]
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> *Purification in the old Law* did save,
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> And such, as yet once more I trust to have
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Came *vested* *all in white*, pure as her mind:
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Is the following a correct parsing?
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>>  The subject and predicate of the main clause are ?Mine [*my* wife,
>>> >>>>> not Alcestis] . . . Came vested all in white . . . ,? with the predicate
>>> >>>>> turning up five lines after the subject. A pronoun must be implied: ?as
>>> >>>>> [one] whom.? Grammatically, ?washt from spot of child-bed taint ? is
>>> >>>>> parenthetical, with ?washt? as a participle, not a predicate, and modifying
>>> >>>>> ?whom? or the implied ?one.? The relative clause is then ?whom . . .
>>> >>>>> Purification in the Old Law did save.? Rearranged, then, ?Mine, as [one]
>>> >>>>> whom purification in the Old Law did save, washt  from spot of child-bed
>>> >>>>> taint . . . came vested all in white.? ?As? in line 5 seems to be a
>>> >>>>> preposition rather than a conjunction, and seems to mean ?like,? although
>>> >>>>> Milton normally maintains the like-as distinction. Is there another way to
>>> >>>>> read ?as? here? In line 7, ?as? is a conjunction subordinating an adjective
>>> >>>>> clause that extends the periodic suspension between subject and verb.
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Here is another ?as whom? with implied pronoun (?they?): ?in bulk as
>>> >>>>> huge /As whom the fables name of monstrous size.? But ?as huge as? is
>>> >>>>> a different situation.
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> In line 6, ?the Old? must be metrically elided to prevent a triple
>>> >>>>> offbeat. I?m sure Milton intended ?th?Old.? Even so, it is excessively
>>> >>>>> complex by Johnson?s standards, with a falling inversion followed by a
>>> >>>>> rising inversion that includes an elision (/xx/xx//x/).
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Michael
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> _______________________________________________
>>> >>>>> Milton-L mailing list
>>> >>>>> Milton-L at richmond.edu
>>> >>>>> Manage your list membership and access list archives at
>>> >>>>> https://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>> Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
>>> >>>>>
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> _______________________________________________
>>> >>>> Milton-L mailing list
>>> >>>> Milton-L at richmond.edu
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>>> >>>> https://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>
>>> >>>
>>> >>
>>> >
>>> > _______________________________________________
>>> > Milton-L mailing list
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>>> End of Milton-L Digest, Vol 113, Issue 31
>>> *****************************************
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