[Milton-L] The Metaphysicals

John Hale john.hale at otago.ac.nz
Mon Jan 4 14:44:28 EST 2016


Dear Colleagues who have replied so far to my question about Milton's reading of English poets: thank you! While your suggestions are just the sort of thing I was hoping for, like the evidence from Phillips, and the palpable early enjoyment of Spenser, I am hoping for further evidence and opinions. Please.

     For example, mentioning Spenser supports my hunch, that in his earlier and formative years Milton was reading around, whereas in later years there is less evidence, which makes me wonder whether he had made up his mind on these as on many other things. How much of Spenser is to be seen in his later sonnets and the Big Three poems? This is where the suggestion of Cowley interested me greatly.

       I don't mean to imply that his poetic arteries hardened, far from it obviously, but that he did keep company more and more in later years with his Greek poets. Euripides, for example.

       Similarly, his sonnets continue to show influence from Italian poets, but for whatever reason, he stopped writing sonnets. (Like other poets of the time?)?

       So thanks again everyone who has responded. May I hope for further enlightenment, on the assumption that those who aren't going to MLA may have time on their hands, and those who are going have just time before they set off (and shouldn't be writing their papers as late as this!)?




John Hale
________________________________
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu <milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu> on behalf of Hannibal Hamlin <hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, 5 January 2016 6:53 a.m.
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] The Metaphysicals

Phillips also singles out "for his Divine Poems, the admired Mr. George Herbert" at the beginning of his Life of Milton.

Hannibal


On Mon, Jan 4, 2016 at 12:42 PM, Feisal Mohamed <f.mohamed00 at gmail.com<mailto:f.mohamed00 at gmail.com>> wrote:
Hello, all

There is a piece of circumstantial evidence note yet mentioned that can be used to answer John Hale's initial question: Edward Phillips' catalogues of poets ancient and modern, the _Theatrum Poetarum_ (1675; Wing P2075). Phillips is of course Milton's nephew and pupil, and it would be hard to imagine him having a more extensive knowledge of poetry than his uncle did. In the _Theatrum_ we find not only the "metaphysicals" but also many minor poets, women poets, and, as we would expect, French and Italian poets.

Happy 2016,
Feisal




On 01/02/16, John Hale <john.hale at otago.ac.nz<mailto:john.hale at otago.ac.nz>> wrote:

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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--
Hannibal Hamlin
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