Saturday, August 11, 2018

Turning Milton's Prose into Poetry

A few days back, I quoted from Milton's Areopagitica, breaking Milton's prose and making it look like poetry:
And though all the windes of doctrin were let loose
to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field,
we do injuriously, by licencing and prohibiting
to misdoubt her strength.
Let her and Falshood grapple;
who ever knew Truth put to the wors,
in a free and open encounter.
Her confuting is the best and surest suppressing.
I borrowed my Milton quote from Dartmouth's Milton Reading Room site, but I broke the prose into the free verse that you see just above. I received this prose-broken-into-poetry response from John Savoie on the Milton List:
Of late I too have grown fond of linebreaking prose;
Milton's prose especially rewards the segmentation.
Note that John Savoie is also a poet and a Milton scholar, so he's a voice to listen to . . .

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At 2:25 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...


In Emanations--I have to look up which volume--Don Tinsley attempted a prose to verse exercise (was it Milton's prose?) in which he rendered the prose in two ways, creating two poems. If I recall correctly, the first was presented in heroic lines, and the second was presented in a "modern" verse form.

At 7:00 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

That does sound familiar.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:39 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

It is a versification of Milton's gloss on "The Verse" from Paradise Lost, and it appears in Emanations: Third Eye, beginning on page 220.

Don Tinsley renders a "modernist" version. Jeffery Hodges (i.e. you), on the very next page, renders a version in "heroic" lines.

At 6:29 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks for the reminder of my prior attempt . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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