Sunday, March 5, 2017

Tightening Up

I suppose it's been in reaction to my reading of Ms Kay and Ms Tempest that I found myself reaching for that most patriarchal, often inflexible and studiously correct of versifiers John Milton today. (Yet this most canonical of dead white males was an outrageous Radical in his own time, I happily remind myself.)

I thought I'd reread the Nativity Ode, and I'm glad I did. I'm also happy to have prefaced my reading by listening to a most illuminating lecture on Milton's first great poem in English available on youtube via those good people at Yale.

And I realise that for all the contrasts between the great Puritan Poet and his modern (non-)equivalents there's one striking similarity. To get the real Milton you need to read him out loud, loudly.

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