October 16, 2009

Sonnet To The Nightingale

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--Description: 17th C, Milton J., Nature, Sonnet--



O nightingale that on yon blooming spray
Warblest at eve, when all the woods are still,
Thou with fresh hopes the Lover’s heart dost fill,
While the jolly Hours lead on propitious May.
Thy liquid notes that close the eye of Day,
First heard before the shallow cuckoo’s bill,
Portend success in love. O if Jove’s will
Have linked that amorous power to thy soft lay,
Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate
Foretell my hopeless doom, in some grove nigh;
As thou from year to year hast sung too late
For my relief, yet had’st no reason why.
Whether the Muse or Love call thee his mate,
Both them I serve, and of their train am I.

John Milton

--Did You Know: (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674) Milton was an English poet, author, polemicist and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England. He is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost. He was both an accomplished, scholarly man of letters and polemical writer, and an official serving under Oliver Cromwell. His views may be described as broadly Protestant, if not always easy to locate in a more precise religious category. Milton was writing at a time of religious and political flux in England, and his poetry and prose reflect deep convictions, often reacting to contemporary circumstances. He wrote also in Latin and Italian, and had an international reputation during his lifetime. After his death, Milton's personal reputation oscillated, a state of affairs that has largely continued through the centuries. Samuel Johnson described him as "an acrimonious and surly republican"; but William Hayley's 1796 biography called him the "greatest English author", at a time when his reputation was particularly in play. He remains, however, generally regarded "as one of the preeminent writers in the English language and as a thinker of world importance."

--Word of the Day: stultify \STUHL-tuh-fahy\, verb:
1. To render useless or ineffectual; cripple.
2. To cause to appear stupid, inconsistent, or ridiculous.
3. Law To allege or prove insane and so not legally responsible.
Example:
The word "civilization" to my mind is coupled with death. When I use the word, I see civilization as a crippling, thwarting thing, a stultifying thing. For me it was always so. I don't believe in the golden ages, you see... civilization is the arteriosclerosis of culture.
-Henry Miller

--Quote of the Day: It's wonderful to climb the liquid mountains of the sky. Behind me and before me is God and I have no fears.
-Helen Keller

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