Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Aimless Reading: The M's, Part 47 (John Milton)

Paradise Lost by Michael_Kelleher
Paradise Lost a photo by Michael_Kelleher on Flickr.

Milton, John
Paradise Lost

Purchased at the Fordham University Bookstore for $8.95.

I bought this for a required undergraduate English course called, "Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton." Nicely canonical, don't you think. It was taught by a little British professor whose name I can't recall. He used to have us organize our desks in a big circle. He would sit in the circle with us in a desk like everyone else's and we would talk about what we'd read.

It was a very laid back class. We called the professor by his first name, which I still can't recall. He liked my response paper on Milton. When he handed it back to me he said to the class, "Mike received the highest grade. His writing was very natural, as if he just said to himself, "Gee, I think I'll sit down and write this."

I would say that his encouragement certainly pointed me in the direction of becoming an English major. Now, if I could only remember his name.

from Paradise Lost

Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of EDEN, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top
Of OREB, or of SINAI, didst inspire
That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth
Rose out of CHAOS: Or if SION Hill
Delight thee more, and SILOA'S Brook that flow'd
Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th' AONIAN Mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.
And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread
Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss
And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark
Illumine, what is low raise and support;
That to the highth of this great Argument
I may assert th' Eternal Providence,
And justifie the wayes of God to men.

1 comment:

tyrone said...

I can't recall my Milton teacher's name either but I was so overwhelmed by the class and him that I thought about writing my dissertation on JM.