The Ancient Liberty of Milton’s Epic Verse

By |2021-03-30T12:21:17-05:00March 30th, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Great Books, John Milton, Liberty, Poetry|

John Milton’s “ancient liberty” is not the liberalism of Thomas Hobbes or John Locke, where the telos governing human liberty is dispensed with. Rather, “Paradise Lost” cultivates Christian virtues by reclaiming an ancient liberty within the traditional epic verse form and by returning to that which is first or most ancient: Divine Will. The opening [...]

Arguing With Dante and Milton

By |2021-01-24T16:11:49-06:00January 24th, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Dante, Great Books, John Milton, Joseph Pearce, Senior Contributors|

I disagree on certain points with two literary giants, Dante and John Milton. Though unworthy to follow in their literary footsteps, I feel nonetheless that even giants are fallible. Is it possible to argue without quarreling? G.K. Chesterton thought so and did so. He said of his relationship with his brother that they were always [...]

Living at This Hour

By |2021-01-22T09:54:37-06:00January 22nd, 2021|Categories: Glenn Arbery, Government, John Milton, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

Even without the content of the general historical frame, William Wordsworth’s sonnet, “London 1802,” is moving to every generation that reads it, and it is natural to compare our current political situation with the one described in the poem. All of us, of course, remember the dire circumstances of England in 1802. No? Then we [...]

Blaming Adam

By |2020-07-04T01:23:42-05:00July 4th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Christianity, Glenn Arbery, John Milton, Politics, Senior Contributors, Slavery, Wyoming Catholic College|

The origins of human things are flawed, no question, and inequalities remain. But should we not try to honor the principles of Washington or Jefferson and distinguish them from the prejudices of the day that they shared? The curriculum at Wyoming Catholic College has much wisdom to offer in the current crisis, much that should [...]

Milton’s Erotic Cosmos

By |2020-12-08T15:43:23-06:00February 1st, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Great Books, Imagination, John Milton, Literature, Paul Krause, Poetry, Senior Contributors, Theology, Uncategorized|

John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” is an intense, passionate poem, and erotic poem. From the visual imagery to the descriptive language Milton uses to portray his lively scenes, there is no escaping the reality of the life force that moves his poem. Why, however, did Milton choose to write such a poem, and to whom was [...]

The Postmodern Heroism of John Milton

By |2020-12-08T15:04:38-06:00December 8th, 2019|Categories: Culture, England, Great Books, John Milton, Literature, Politics, Timeless Essays|

Instead of putting John Milton in the context of his own time, scholar David Hawkes proposes to put him in the context of ours, believing that the great poet and political writer’s life and work offer solutions to our own predicament. John Milton: A Hero of Our Time, by David Hawkes (356 pages, Counterpoint, 2010) [...]

“Paradise Lost”: Hidden Meanings?

By |2019-09-19T13:49:34-05:00April 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 as [...]

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

By |2019-06-12T16:09:14-05:00November 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 [...]

On Studying Imagination

By |2021-04-19T15:50:11-05:00January 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 Muses [...]

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 [...]

The World of the Poet

By |2019-07-30T15:56:17-05:00June 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. We [...]

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