[Milton-L] The Metaphysicals

Richard A. Strier rastrier at uchicago.edu
Sun Jan 3 14:07:02 EST 2016

I have no direct evidence on this to cite, as we do on Milton reading Shakespeare.  Certainly he knew Marvell, but I don't know whether Marvell would have shared his lyrics.  Nigel Smith should weigh in on this.

I do, however, think that I can make a plausible case that Milton read Herbert.  Milton's great sonnet on his blindness seems to me to rely on imagining a divine response to his own "murmurings" that is one of Herbert's most identifiable poetic strategies.  I am not saying that this is iron-clad, but I think that it does establish a possibility -- especially given the extreme popularity of The Temple and that the poems therein were read and imitated by writers from all over the religious spectrum, right to left.

From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of John Hale [john.hale at otago.ac.nz]
Sent: Saturday, January 02, 2016 6:29 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: [Milton-L] The Metaphysicals

Dear Colleagues:

What evidence is there that Milton had read the poems of Donne, Herbert, and Vaughan? Or those of Marvell?

Happy and productive 2016 to each and all.

John Hale
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