[Milton-L] "fixed feet and syllables"

JCarl Bellinger dionhalic at gmail.com
Sat Apr 16 17:11:09 EDT 2016


To Michael Gillam's question where Milton sets down "fixed feet and
syllables"   it's in the earliest sentence we have from his pen, age 15, in
a Latin letter to his tutor Mr. Young. <See attachment>  :-)

To prevent the Attrigians [fond hope; pace Michael] <<Milton can be excused
for this wrongheaded idea 1)on account of his youth, he was just a boy
 2) M is referring to Latin poetry not English; yes, Latin poetry is
written in feet --iamb, trochee, spondee, pyrrhic, but does that
mean English poetry is written likewise? 3) this ambitious young
poet may have just been sucking up to Thomas Young who had some newfangled
enthusiasms about reforming the English language according to
hebraical, not to say prelapsarian, modes of lyric style.
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