“Paradise Lost”: Hidden Meanings?

By |2019-04-15T17:24:41-05:00April 15th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, John Milton, Liberal Learning, St. John's College, Wisdom|

I keep having the sense that something is going on that runs right counter to the overt text of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. There seems to be a separate, opposed meaning. Should it be called a hidden agenda, a subtext? Milton’s Paradise Lost is a poem of such panoramic grandeur and such human acuteness [...]

Grace in the Garden: The Fall of Man & the British Pastoral Tradition

By |2019-04-07T10:49:55-05:00November 17th, 2018|Categories: Books, Featured, John Milton, Literature, Poetry, Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot|

The transcendent ‘overcoming’ or reconciliation of the Fall of Man—that symbol of the cause of the disorder that we would wish re-ordered, of the return to the garden—is what great poetry graciously asks of us... “An intermediate nature... prevents the universe falling into two separate halves.” —Plato, Symposium (203b). Almost from the beginning of when human [...]

Books Are Not Dead Things

By |2018-08-11T18:42:04-05:00August 12th, 2018|Categories: Books, Free Speech, John Milton, Quotation|

Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively, and as [...]

On Studying Imagination

By |2018-11-21T08:38:41-05:00January 30th, 2018|Categories: Aristotle, E.B., Eva Brann, Featured, Great Books, Imagination, John Milton, Plato, St. John's College|

Is memory deceptively transformative? Is the original imagination an organ for lying fictions, for deception, or a conduit for revelatory illumination? And so, more generally, how do we explain those images that are apparently not imitations, don’t have an origin in verifiable originals, be they stored in human memory or laid up with the [...]

Rhetoric and Danger

By |2019-04-11T12:46:10-05:00March 2nd, 2017|Categories: Classical Education, Featured, Glenn Arbery, John Milton, Language, Rhetoric, Wyoming Catholic College|

As important as it is to use language well, it is more important to use it to move people with the truth… For two full days, with all regular classes canceled, the seniors at Wyoming Catholic College this week presented their senior orations to faculty, fellow students, board members, and guests of the College. [...]

The World of the Poet

By |2018-10-30T14:54:11-05:00June 17th, 2016|Categories: Dante, Fiction, George A. Panichas, Greek Epic Poetry, Homer, Imagination, John Milton, Literature, Moral Imagination, Poetry, Sophocles, Virgil|

Man, it is often said, cannot jump over his own shadow. The poet—and by “poet” I mean a writer of imaginative works in verse or prose—leaps over the universe… Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum. I We not only read a novel, we enter into its created world. [...]

Is “Paradise Lost” a Christian Poem?

By |2018-09-20T14:24:43-05:00July 28th, 2015|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Friedrich Nietzsche, John Milton|

The concepts of the Apollonian and Dionysian are famously invoked by Nietzsche in the context of Greek drama, but not in such a way that we can transfer them directly to poetry and prose. Let it suffice to say that Apollo is typically represented as restrained, orderly, and logical; Dionysus is erratic, spontaneous, and emotive. [...]

Milton’s “Paradise Lost”: Hidden Meanings?

By |2018-11-21T08:39:12-05:00April 30th, 2015|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, Featured, John Milton, Literature, St. John's College, Wisdom|

Milton’s Paradise Lost is a poem of such panoramic grandeur and such human acuteness as may wean one—and has even weaned me—from a lifelong exclusive Homerophilia. Partly its attraction is that it is insinuatingly suspect. I keep having the sense that something is going on that runs right counter to the overt text. There [...]