8 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2021
    1. hand

      "English" Sonnet Form

      3 quatrains (3 groups of four lines) Couplet (Volta)

    2. nd no peace and all my war is done,

      From Class Discussion: There are binaries of conflicting ideas: peace and war, burn and freeze.


      They are conflict

      Oxymoron Paradox

    3. from Romeo and Juliet (Act 1, Scene 5)

      Even though this is not technically sonnet, this dialogue from the play is a good example of how the form entered the wider cultural landscape of Early modern England

    1. Piedmont

      Notes from BABL 18 Some modern editions number this sonnet 15, the number assigned it in the 1673 edition of Milton’s Poems. 2 Massacre in Piedmont In April 1655, a Catholic army under the command of the Duke of Savoy began a persecution of the Vaudois or Waldensians, a Protestant sect that lived in the mountainous Piedmont region of Italy, near the Swiss border. The Waldensians had broken away from the Catholic Church in the twelfth century. But seventeenth-century Protestants thought they represented a much older tradition, and regarded them as having retained the beliefs of the primitive Church. 3 saints The term “saint” can refer not only to a martyr or one who has been canonized, but also to any believer in Christ. See, e.g., 1 Corinthians 1.2, 2 Corinthians 1.1, and Romans 1.7. 4 triple tyrant The Pope, from the three-crowned papal miter or headdress. 5 Babylonian Protestants of Milton’s time often used Babylon as a metaphor for the excesses of the papal court. 6 19 Numbered sonnet 16 in some modern editions. The title “On his blindness” was added in the eighteenth century, and appears in some modern editions. 7 half my days The source of much debate on the date of this poem: Milton was born in December 1608, and it is not clear by what standard he judges the normal length of a life. He was totally blind by early 1652. 8 talent Alluding to the parable of the talents in Matthew 25.14-30. 9 Thousands I.e., Thousands of angels. 10 23 Numbered sonnet 19 in some modern editions. 11 late espoused saint Milton’s first wife, Mary Powell, died in May 1652, shortly after giving birth to their daughter Deborah. His second wife, Katherine Woodcock, died in February 1658, several months after giving birth to their daughter Katherine. Most scholars believe that the poem refers to Katherine, though arguments have been made for Mary as its subject. 12 Alcestis In classical myth, Alcestis sacrificed her life to save her husband, Admetus; Hercules, the son of Jove, repays Admetus’s hospitality to him by forcing Death (in a wrestling match) to return her alive. The story is told in the play Alcestis by Euripedes. Review Copy 716 John Milton Purification in the old Law 1 did save, And such as yet once more I trust to have Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint, Came vested all in white, pure as her mind; Her face was veiled, 2 yet to my fancied sight 10 Love, sweetness, goodness in her person shined So clear as in no face with more delight. But O as to embrace me she inclined, I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night. —1673 (date of composition unknown) from Areopagitica: A Speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing, to the Parliament of England 3 They who to states and governors of the Common- wealth direct their speech, High Court of Parlia- ment, or, wanting such access in a private condition, write that which t

    2. OF

      From Luminarium: he heading of this sonnet 'On his being arrived to the age of 23' is not found in either edition of 1645 or 1673. The sonnet has every appearance of having been written on Milton's birthday, 9 December. And taking the usual interpretation of line 2, 'Stolen on his wing,' viz. that the 23d year is passed and gone, the date of composition would be 9 Dec. 1631. The verses were sent to a friend, name unknown, with whom he had had a serious conversation the day before, on the subject of taking orders in the Church of England. The friend had urged, as friends do, that it was time Milton was doing something better than 'study.' Milton's reply is a noble vindication of the life of the intelligence, as opposed to that of action. But Milton does not take his stand on this platform, but defends his delay on the utilitarian ground of a desire to make himself 'more fit' for life. He wrote in the letter in which the sonnet was enclosed: 'Not the endless delight of speculation, but this very consideration of that great commandment, does not press forward as soon as many do, to undergo, but keeps off with a sacred reverence and religious advisement how best to undergo; not taking thought of being late, so it give advantage to be more fit; for those that were latest lost nothing, when the master of vineyard came to give each one his hire . . . . Yet that you may see that I am something suspicious of myself, and do take notice of a certain belatedness in me, I am the bolder to send you some of my nightward thoughts somewhile since, because they come in not altogether unfitly, made up in a Petrarchian stanza, which I told you of.' Then follows the sonnet, 'How soon hath Time,' &c.

       l. 1, subtle thief of youth.—Imitated by Pope, Sat. 6. 76—'The subtle thief of life, this paltry 'time.'
       l. 2, Stolen on his wing.—Pope, Im. of Martial—'While time with still career, Wafts on his 'gentle wing his eighteenth year.'
       l. 5, my semblance.—An allusion to his juvenile face and figure.  At Cambridge he is said to have been known as 'the lady of Christ's.'...  Milton tells us of himself, Defensio Secunda, that when he was forty he was always taken for ten years younger.
       l. 10, It shall be still in strictest measure even.—Nothing in Milton's life is more noteworthy than his deliberate intention to be a great poet, and the preparation he made with that intention from the earliest period.  Here we have a solemn record of self-dedication, without specification of the nature of the performance.  In 1638, we find, Mansus, 80, the determination formed, that his life work shall be a poem, though more than thirty years were to pass over before the execution of the work.
    3. XXIII

      from luminarium: 1 This sonnet was written about the year 1656, on the death of his second wife, Catharine, the daughter of Captain Woodcock of Hackney. She died in child-bed of a daughter, within a year after their marriage. Milton had now been some time totally blind.— 2 'Alcestis:' see Euripides.— 3 'Great son:' Hercules.— 4 'Glad husband:' Admetus.— 5 'Veil'd:' so was Alcestis.

    4. XIX

      Notes from Luminarum This sonnet is conjecturally dated 1655, because in the vol. of 1673 it follows the Piedmontese sonnet. Milton's sight had been long threatened before it was finally extinguished. In a letter to the Greek Philaras, the agent in London of the Duke of Parma, dated September 1654, Milton says it was ten years, more or less, since he had first found his eyes failing. The blindness had become total probably about March 1652, in which month Weckherlin was appointed by the Council of State to assist Milton as secretary. The calamity was precipitated by his persistence in writing his Defension pro populo Anglicano contra Salmasium, though warned by his physician of the consequences. The reader will observe that in the present lament, Milton does not bewail his own privation, but insists wholly on the wreck of the heaven-appointed task to which he considered himself called and set apart. 'My often thought is,' he writes to Philaras, 1654, 'that since to all of us are decreed many days of darkness, as saith the Wise Man, Eccles. 11, 8, my dark thus far, by the singular favour of Providence, hath been much tolerable than that dark of the grave, passed as it hath been amid leisure and study, cheered by the visits and conversation of friends.'

      l. 2, ere half my days.—Taking March 1652 as the date at which the blindness was complete, Milton's age was forty-four.
      —dark and wide.—In Milton's imagination the great size of the habitable globe was a constant element.  Paradise Lost, 12. 370—'and bound his reign With earth's wide bounds.'  The epithet here enforces the impression we receive of the helplessness of the blind.
      l. 3, one talent which is death to hide.—The allusion is to the parable of the talents, Matt. 25.
      l. 8, fondly = foolishly—'he who to be deemed a god, leaped fondly into Ætna flames.'—P.L., 3. 470.
      l. 12, thousands.—'Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth Unseen both when we wake and when we sleep.'—P.L., 4. 677.
  2. Sep 2020
    1. A quick note: During Week 4, there are multiple events happening:

      1) On Thursday, September 17 at 4pm: there is a presentation on Indigenous Studies hosted by UMD.

      2) On Friday, September 18 at noon (aka during our class), there is a book launch hosted by the History Department.

      3) We still have reading listed for Friday, September 18.

      Numbers 2 and 3 are required. Number 1 is strongly recommended.

      Your weekly response can be on 1, 2, or 3