[Charles Grignon after Francis Hayman, (1749) illustration to Book IX of John Milton’s Paradise Lost]
AG: So, the question is, what are we going to do with this big clunky Paradise Lost. I’d like to read a page and then turn it over to someone else to read some more. But, oratory, as oratory – “The Argument” – will somebody read “The Argument” here of Book 9. (The “Argument” here means, “this is the plot”..So, page three-twenty-seven. The reason I’d like to begin.. to read the beginning pages at least is, he does take up, again, the subject of … Read More
AG: So okay, what’s the point of all this. The point is that the Latin has a different order of words, that you could have, that the…verb comes at the end and that the arrangement of the nouns, the subject and the object might be in a different order. So dig now this opening line here – like “Of arms and … Read More
[Bartholomeo Better (1639-1699) – oil on canvas – “Still Life With Instruments and Books”]
Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Naropa class on John Milton (with assistance from Tom Schwartz) continues from here.
AG: I want to read one thing I’ve got here – [reads] – “One needs scarcely elaborate on Milton’s use of music or on his father’s musical accomplishment, He had contact with the most prominent musicians in England (both in English and Italian) through his father with Nicholas Lanier, (Thomas) Ravenscroft, (Alfonso) Ferrabosco, through the Comus production with Henry Lawes‘ – (he one long…he made … Read More
AG: So..what’s it? – the first lines are. “Of Man’s first Dis-“, – (that’s.., the accent falls on the fourth syllable) – Then “Of that forbid-den tree”- (four syllables) – “Brought death into the World” – (six. syllables) – “With loss of E-den” – (four syllables) – till one greater Man/Restore us, and … Read More
Tom Schwartz: There’s a very good book by F.T.Prince – The Italian Element in Milton’s Verse which is a nice short book which gets to the heart of the matter. Milton was very fascinated with Italian poets of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, just before him, Tasso, in particular, and the standard Italian line contained eleven syllables, and for various reasons, a ten-syllable line works in English (mainly because we don’t have so many vowels and we have heavier consonants) and, basically, wnat Milton prosody comes down to in the … Read More