Monday, March 25, 2019

MacLeish and Milton: Conclusions thus far . . .


In MacLeish's two roles – as a major poet and a major public figure – he was much like Milton. In the details, however come the differences, such as Milton justifying the ways of God and MacLeish saying it can't be done. Milton set himself a harder task, actually justifying God's actions down to the nitty-gritty details, and one cannot say that he succeeds. But neither does MacLeish succeed in his logical conundrum, that God is either not God or not good, for we are not epistemologically positioned to know the answer. Perhaps more interesting is the lack of symmetry between creation (Milton) and uncreation (MacLeish). Milton describes creation as a process by which the Spirit of God broods upon the pre-existing materials of chaos. MacLeish, though, implies creation from nothing because he presents an uncreation that results in "nothing at all." And to present the creatio of his poem "The End of the World" as even more original than Milton's creatio, he does not breathe even a whisper of a sigh that Milton might have influenced him in that poem – even though the influence is obvious.



At 2:15 AM, Blogger Bienvenido Bones said...

"The thoughts of people are not my thoughts, nor are my ways your ways... For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. - According to Holy Bible: Isaiah 55:8,9. *Bones*

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

That's our epistemological problem.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 1:59 PM, Anonymous BIENVENIDO BONES BANEZ said...

You are correct and we had only restricted access to this extra-terrestrial wisdom.
Thanks for your time. . . *Bones*

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...


Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 3:09 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

Not to be difficult, but most of what you have said about MacLeish--though instructive--has mostly convinced me that he is a person who is not very interesting (to me).

Really, I don't want to be discouraging, but I am waiting for one of your characteristic "punchlines" that affixes some disapproving irony to MacLeish's reputation, and so on. Or maybe I am missing something?

At 5:41 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I actually do like most of what I've read so far, but he's written a lot, and I can't decide until I know more.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *


Post a Comment

<< Home