OwlTail

Cover image of John Milton

John Milton

56 Podcast Episodes

Latest 1 Oct 2022 | Updated Daily

Episode artwork

Paradise Lost by John Milton ~ Full Audiobook

Classic Audiobook Collection

Paradise Lost by John Milton audiobook. Paradise Lost is the first epic of English literature written in the classical style. John Milton saw himself as the intellectual heir of Homer, Virgil, and Dante, and sought to create a work of art which fully represented the most basic tenets of the Protestant faith. His work, which was dictated from memory and transcribed by his daughter, remains as one of the most powerful English poems. (Summary by Caeristhiona) This is a recording of the text of Milton’s first edition of 1667, which had ten books, unlike the second edition (1674) which was redivided into twelve books in the manner of Virgil’s Aeneid.--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/matthew-jackson95/support

8hr 59mins

13 Aug 2022

Episode artwork

From Paradise Lost by John Milton

A Mouthful of Air: Poetry with Mark McGuinness

Episode 30From Paradise Lost by John Milton Mark McGuinness reads and discusses a passage from Book VII of Paradise Lost by John Milton.https://media.blubrry.com/amouthfulofair/content.blubrry.com/amouthfulofair/30_From_Paradise_Lost_Book_VII_by_John_Milton.mp3PoetJohn MiltonReading and commentary byMark McGuinness From Paradise Lost, Book VII, 449-474 by John Milton The Sixt, and of Creation last aroseWith Eevning Harps and Mattin, when God said,Let th’ Earth bring forth Soul living in her kinde,Cattel and Creeping things, and Beast of the Earth,Each in their kinde. The Earth obey’d, and straitOp’ning her fertil Woomb teem’d at a BirthInnumerous living Creatures, perfet formes,Limb’d and full grown: out of the ground up-roseAs from his Laire the wilde Beast where he wonnsIn Forrest wilde, in Thicket, Brake, or Den;Among the Trees in Pairs they rose, they walk’d:The Cattel in the Fields and Meddowes green:Those rare and solitarie, these in flocksPasturing at once, and in broad Herds upsprung:The grassie Clods now Calv’d, now half appeer’dThe Tawnie Lion, pawing to get freeHis hinder parts, then springs as broke from Bonds,And Rampant shakes his Brinded main; the Ounce,The Libbard, and the Tyger, as the MoaleRising, the crumbl’d Earth above them threwIn Hillocks; the swift Stag from under groundBore up his branching head: scarse from his mouldBehemoth biggest born of Earth upheav’dHis vastness: Fleec’t the Flocks and bleating rose,As Plants: ambiguous between Sea and LandThe River Horse and scalie Crocodile. Podcast transcript Of all the great English poets John Milton is the hardest to love. He was literally a Puritan, a member of the religious faction who famously banned Christmas when they came to power after the English Civil War. In Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night, there’s a memorable scene where Sir Toby Belch is being told off for being drunk and disorderly, by Malvolio, who is described in the play as ’a kind of Puritan’. So when when Malvolio reprimands Sir Toby, Toby’s comeback is: ‘Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?’ This is a caricature of Puritanism, but it’s a fair bet that cakes and ale were not high on Milton’s list of priorities. And he was very concerned with being virtuous, and making us virtuous too. And this is the big problem with Paradise Lost for a lot of readers, because he says right at the beginning of the poem that he’s writing it to improve us, to ‘justify the ways of God to man’. In other words, he’s going to explain to us why there is suffering in the world. Why there is evil in the world and why it’s our fault and not God’s. And he’s going to write as many lines of iambic pentameter as it takes, which in this case was about ten thousand, to drum it into our skulls. And what a lot of people have objected to over the years, is that he seems to be on of God and morality and virtue rather than the side of humanity. Because for him, human fallibility is the big problem, as he explains when he tells us about the Fall of Adam and Eve. And of course, Eve gets most of the blame. Even making allowances for the sexist culture of his time, Milton’s attitude to women comes across as profoundly misogynistic. So it’s hard to warm to Milton. It’s hard to love him, maybe in the way that we might feel that we love Shakespeare or Chaucer or Wordsworth. I read Paradise Lost thirty years ago, and I have hardly looked at it since. And yet… I recently opened it and started having second thoughts about Milton. Because if he’s difficult to love, then there is plenty to admire in his poetry, and even, dare I say it, to enjoy. Turning again to the first page of Paradise Lost, I was struck by his sheer ambition. So as is traditional at the beginning of an epic poem, he invokes the Muse, the divine source of poetry, and says:                                                          I thenceInvoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,That with no middle flight intends to soarAbove th’ Aonian Mount, while it pursuesThings unattempted yet in Prose or Rime. I mean, come on, we have to admire the guy’s boldness here! This is someone who has read pretty much all the great poetry ever written up to this point. He’s read Homer, Virgil, Ovid, Dante, Shakespeare. And he says he wants to do something that none of them ever even attempted. So we’ve got to give him 11 out of 10 for ambition. So inspired by reading this, I cranked up the audiobook version of Paradise Lost, read by Anton Lesser, an amazing Shakespearean actor who really knows how to read verse properly and I found myself transported. The poetry is absolutely magnificent, and I actually think Milton pretty well succeeds in what he set out to do. He says he ‘intends to soar’, and he really does, there’s a lofty, awe-inspiring quality to the verse. And some of it is even quite moving on a human level. There were some scenes that I’d forgotten about, where he does display a bit of genuine empathy and pity for Adam and Eve and their suffering. And Satan, of course, is fantastic. It’s a cliche of Paradise Lost criticism is that Milton has unwittingly given Satan all the best lines. William Blake famously said that Milton ‘was of the Devil’s party without knowing it’. Because Milton is supposed to be on the side of God and the angels, but actually his portrayal of Satan is so full of energy and charisma, when he says things like, ‘Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav’n’. And you don’t have to be a psychoanalyst to hear echoes of Milton’s own rebellious streak, you know first he was on the side of the rebellion against Charles I, but later on he could also be an outspoken critic of the republic, when he thought it was abusing its power. So I never thought I would ever go through Paradise Lost from beginning to the end again, but thanks to Anton Lesser, I have. I wouldn’t quite say I’ve had a road to Damascus experience. I still have very strong reservations about Milton. But I’m going to propose a new category which allows me to appreciate him on his own terms, and that is the category of the bonus great poet. So these are poets who are easily overlooked, because they are a bit niche. A bit eccentric or too much associated with the fashion of their time that is completely unfashionable now. I’m talking about poets such as Edmund Spenser, Alexander Pope, and of course, Milton. And the way I propose we treat the bonus great poet is that most of the time we forget about them. But every so often, we remember they exist. We go over to the bookshelf and we open it and we go, ‘Actually, this is really good. I wouldn’t want to read it every day. I can’t go the whole hog in terms of their worldview or even their aesthetic, but there is much to enjoy here and why shouldn’t I enjoy it once in a while?’. A bit like having a liqueur on Christmas Day, even though I hardly ever drink liqueurs. And I realise Milton wouldn’t be happy about being compared to a Christmas liqueur, but I think he’s going to have to meet me halfway on this, and that’s how he and I can find a rapprochement. OK now that we have established cordial relations, let’s have a closer look at Paradise Lost. So remember last month I was talking about the three basic types of poetry. We’ve got dramatic poetry, like the verse drama of Shakespeare and Marlowe that we’ve been looking at recently. We also have the lyric, which is typically shorter and more musical, and especially these days, more personal and reflective. And then we have the epic, which is about storytelling on a grand scale, involving adventure and heroism and the supernatural and the divine. And in Paradise Lost, Milton is very self-consciously using the conventions of epic poetry. As we’ve seen, he begins with the traditional invocation to the Muse, and the idea is that the poet is really looking to channel divine inspiration. So as well as the invocation to the Muse, the opening lines of Paradise Lost contain another epic convention, and that’s the statement of the poem’s theme and a summary of the plot: Of Mans First Disobedience, and the FruitOf that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tastBrought Death into the World, and all our woe,With loss of Eden, till one greater ManRestore us, and regain the blissful Seat,Sing Heav’nly Muse, So he’s going to tell us the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, famously eating the apple, which was the one thing they weren’t supposed to do, and discovering knowledge of good and evil, bringing sin and death into the world, and yet being redeemed by the arrival of the Saviour, Jesus Christ. Milton has clearly read his Homer and Virgil and seen how it’s meant to be done, and he’s honouring the great tradition. But there’s one big twist, and that is that Milton is trying to write a Christian epic. And there’s a tension here, because he’s clearly a fan of what he would call pagan mythology and tales of heroism, which isn’t really compatible with his Puritan Christian faith. Not to mention awkward questions such as: what does he think he’s doing invoking a heathen Muse for his Christian epic? So maybe Milton was human after all. So turning to today’s passage I’ve picked one of my favourite bits of Paradise Lost, the creation of the world in Book VII. He’s drawing on the Biblical account, the creation of the world in seven days, in the Book of Genesis. And the original text is wonderfully terse. In the King James Bible, which was published in 1611, when Milton was a toddler, the creation of the land animals on the sixth day is described in just 64 words: And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:24-25) And Milton includes this account, and follows the wording of the King James very closely:                                                          when God said,Let th’ Earth bring forth Soul living in her kinde,Cattel and Creeping things, and Beast of the Earth,Each in their kinde. So that’s the setup, if you like, the command of God from the King James Bible, and if you recall Malika Booker back in Episode 25, pointed out that you don’t get much more patriarchal than the King James Bible, so this is definitely God with masculine pronouns. But in Milton’s poem, we also get the response to the command, which doesn’t appear in the Bible:                                The Earth obey’d, and straitOp’ning her fertil Woomb teem’d at a BirthInnumerous living Creatures In the Bible, the creatures are made by God, but here Milton describes them as emerging from the Earth ‘opening her fertile womb’, so there’s no doubting the feminine character of the earth. And as we saw in Episode 24 about D. H. Lawrence’s ‘Humming-bird’, there is an ancient tradition of personifying ‘Mother Earth’ as a female deity, and Milton being the incredibly learned poet that he was, would certainly have been aware of this. And being the Puritanical, patriarchal Christian that he was, he would have officially disapproved of it, and relegated it to the ages of darkness and ignorance. But for Milton the poet, this is clearly a deeply resonant image, and he responds to God’s command with a spectacular sequence of poetry, elaborating on the Biblical text in great detail, with the descriptions of all the different creatures and their emergence from the earth:                                 The Earth obey’d, and straitOp’ning her fertil Woomb teem’d at a BirthInnumerous living Creatures, perfet formes,Limb’d and full grown: out of the ground up-roseAs from his Laire the wilde Beast where he wonnsIn Forrest wilde, in Thicket, Brake, or Den;Among the Trees in Pairs they rose, they walk’d:The Cattel in the Fields and Meddowes green:Those rare and solitarie, these in flocksPasturing at once, and in broad Herds upsprung: As you can hear, Milton uses considerably more than 64 words, and I’ve only got room for an excerpt from the whole description today, the passage goes on to describe the creation of lizards and serpents and ants and bees. So what we’ve got is Milton’s Baroque fantasia on the book of Genesis. One creature after another appears out of the earth, to form a kind of 17th century bestiary, starting with the ‘wild beast’, whatever that was; then the cattle in the fields; the lion; the ounce, which was a lynx; the libbard, which was the leopard; the tiger; the stag; ‘Behemoth’, which was a gigantic creature mentioned in the Book of Job, scholars think Milton probably meant an elephant; then flocks of sheep; the ‘river horse’, the hippopotamus; and the ‘scalie crocodile’. And I get the same kind of pleasure from reading this as I used to get when I was very small and I was looking at the illustrations of animals on my bedroom wall. You know the lions and monkeys and tigers and whatever. And I think I can detect Milton taking an innocent pleasure in listing the animals and describing them. Have a listen to the lion:                                                now half appeer’d The Tawnie Lion, pawing to get free His hinder parts, then springs as broke from Bonds, And Rampant shakes his Brinded main; Isn’t this just delightful? We can really see the lion popping out head first, then shaking his back legs to free them from the earth. And then he ‘springs as broke from Bonds’, the alliteration really puts a spring in his step! And then the lion ‘rampant shakes his Brinded main’. ‘Rampant’ was a technical term from heraldry, a ‘lion rampant’ is a specific pose, standing up on its hind legs, with its claws outstretched, you can see it on the Royal Banner of Scotland. ‘Brindled’ means the lion’s mane was streaked or flecked with different colour. It’s a really vivid visual description, and I find myself poring over the individual creatures in this passage, the way I used to pore over the pictures of animals on my bedroom wall. And part of the effect comes from Milton’s very skilful handling of the verse form. So if you’re reading this passage on the page, you would see that The grassie Clods now Calv’d, now half appeer’d is a single line, so ending it on ‘now half appeer’d’ creates a mini cliffhanger, as we wonder momentarily what has ‘half appeer’d’. It’s only at the start of the next line that we learn it is ‘the Tawnie Lion’. So this is the technique of enjambment, which we’ve looked at quite a lot on this podcast, where the grammatical phrase spills over from one line to another, and it’s used by poets for all kinds of effects. One way Milton uses it in this passage is to show the animals appearing out of the earth one after another, like rabbits popping out of hats. So going back to the beginning of the description of the teeming earth:                                 The Earth obey’d, and straitOp’ning her fertil Woomb teem’d at a BirthInnumerous living Creatures, perfet formes,Limb’d and full grown: out of the ground up-roseAs from his Laire the wilde Beast ‘teem’d at a Birth’ is the end of a line, so that there’s that little moment of surprise when ‘Innumerous living Creatures’ pop out at the start of the next line. Then we have ‘out of the ground up-rose’ ending another line, only for the ‘wild beast’ to appear in the next line. Shortly afterwards, we get: Among the Trees in Pairs they rose, they walk’d: Which of course has the effect of prompting us to ask, ‘Pray, tell us John, what rose and walked among the trees in pairs?’. And Milton obligingly tells us in the next line: The Cattel in the Fields and Meddowes green: And the birth-by-enjambment continues, with the Libbard, the stag’s head, Behemoth and the River Horse all popping up at the start of a line, and resolving the syntax Milton has left dangling at the end of the previous line. And in perhaps my favourite enjambment of all, he says that the animals appear out of the earth like ‘the moale’ – line break – ‘rising’. And this is just one aspect of Milton’s technique, which takes the blank verse we have been discussing for the past couple of months, to a whole new level, doing things ‘unattempted yet’ in poetry, even by Shakespeare. For one thing, Shakespeare and other dramatists were writing verse to be spoken aloud by actors. But subtle effects like these little surprising enjambments are more noticeable on the page than in the ear. And unlike Shakespeare, who famously never published his own plays, Milton sold Paradise Lost to a publisher. So he may well have been writing with a reader in mind, rather than an audience. So just to recap, blank verse is unrhymed iambic pentameter, ti TUM, ti TUM, ti TUM, ti TUM, ti TUM. And blank verse was very congenial to Milton. If you recall, the blank part of blank verse means it doesn’t rhyme, and Milton thoroughly approved of not rhyming. In his introduction to Paradise Lost he described his blank verse as ‘English heroic verse without rime’, and said rhyme was ‘no necessary adjunct or true ornament of poem or good verse’ but ‘the invention of a barbarous age’, and dismissed it as ‘the jingling sound of like endings’. So he was even a Puritan when it came to versification, the pleasure of rhyme was obviously too close to cakes and ale. A couple of months ago, if you recall, we looked at Christopher Marlowe’s early Elizabethan blank verse, where the end of most lines coincided neatly with the end of a phrase: Was this the face that launch’d a thousand ships,And burnt the topless towers of Ilium? So it’s pretty easy to hear where the first line ends, and the second one begins, even though we can’t see the text. Then last month we heard a speech by Shakespeare, where he was using enjambment much more extensively, and also often starting phrases and sentences in the middle of lines, so that the blank verse became much more flexible and emotionally expressive, which obviously had big advantages for writing drama. And what Milton does is, he takes that basic principle from Shakespeare, the beginning and end of a phrase don’t have to coincide with the beginning and end of a line, and he takes it to extremes. So at the start of today’s passage from Paradise Lost, the first four and half lines are a single sentence: The Sixt, and of Creation last aroseWith Eevning Harps and Mattin, when God said,Let th’ Earth bring forth Soul living in her kinde,Cattel and Creeping things, and Beast of the Earth,Each in their kinde. And you can hear that the syntax is not straightforward and simple, in what for Milton is a relatively short sentence. But Milton is just warming up here: the next sentence is nine and a half lines long, and the one after that, going all the way to the ‘scalie crocodile’ at the end of today’s passage, is twelve lines. He piles on clause after clause, with inversions and digressions and expansions, punctuated by commas and colons and semicolons, so it’s really hard to keep up and make sense of what he’s saying. Quite often you think he means one thing, then you read on and discover that what you thought was a subject was actually an object, or an adjective you thought was attached to one noun actually belongs to another. So don’t worry if you get confused or if you lose the thread from time to time. That’s par for the course with Milton. And he’d struggle to get away with this these days. You know, the famous guide book, The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White, that tells us to write as simply and clearly as possible. This is Strunk and White’s worst nightmare. If you pasted this into Grammarly it would tell you this is really bad writing, because it’s so hard to read. But of course, it’s no such thing. This is amazing writing. And one thing that makes it amazing is this incredible syntax that is unfolding and unravelling before our eyes; and what it’s doing here is it’s mirroring the action of the teeming Earth, that’s throwing up one species after another. The effect is like a panning shot in an animated movie, where we see one species after another appearing and shaking itself free and starting to roam across the landscape.                                                          the Ounce,The Libbard, and the Tyger, as the MoaleRising, the crumbl’d Earth above them threwIn Hillocks; the swift Stag from under groundBore up his branching head: scarse from his mouldBehemoth biggest born of Earth upheav’dHis vastness: Fleec’t the Flocks and bleating rose,As Plants: ambiguous between Sea and LandThe River Horse and scalie Crocodile. It does sound magnificent, doesn’t it? Partly, it’s the hypnotic effect of the regular metre, the beat of the blank verse. And partly it’s from the sense unfolding with the convoluted syntax. And partly it’s from the interplay of the metre and the syntax, which reaches a high point with Milton, and it’s hard to see how anyone could take this kind of complexity much further. Last month I compared Marlowe’s blank verse, with it’s neatly end-stopped lines, to a marble staircase. By contrast, I said Shakespeare’s blank verse, with its phrases starting in the middle of lines and running over the line endings, is more like a spiral staircase, where it feels like one step is always turning into another as you descend it. For Milton’s blank verse, the image that comes to mind is a swiftly rushing mountain stream, being diverted and divided by the rocks it encounters on its downward journey, occasionally cascading from a great height, then collecting in pools and rushing onwards once again. On one level I think we’re meant to feel overwhelmed, by the sheer abundance, the fecundity, of Milton’s verbal imagination. But also, as we’ve seen, to really grasp what Milton is saying, and to appreciate the subtlety of his effects, you really need to see the text and read it, it’s impossible to take it all in with your ears the first time you hear it read aloud. So we have moved from blank verse spoken on a stage, to printed on a page, if Milton will forgive me a little rhyme. And remember, Milton had famously gone blind by the time he wrote Paradise Lost, and had to dictate the poem to his assistants. So how on earth he managed to hold all of this in his mind without being able to see it is anyone’s guess. He claimed it was dictated to him by his ‘Celestial Patroness’, the Muse, so the simplest explanation is the most outrageous one: his appeal to the Muse worked, and we are in the presence of a work of divine genius. From Paradise Lost, Book VII, 449-474 by John Milton The Sixt, and of Creation last aroseWith Eevning Harps and Mattin, when God said,Let th’ Earth bring forth Soul living in her kinde,Cattel and Creeping things, and Beast of the Earth,Each in their kinde. The Earth obey’d, and straitOp’ning her fertil Woomb teem’d at a BirthInnumerous living Creatures, perfet formes,Limb’d and full grown: out of the ground up-roseAs from his Laire the wilde Beast where he wonnsIn Forrest wilde, in Thicket, Brake, or Den;Among the Trees in Pairs they rose, they walk’d:The Cattel in the Fields and Meddowes green:Those rare and solitarie, these in flocksPasturing at once, and in broad Herds upsprung:The grassie Clods now Calv’d, now half appeer’dThe Tawnie Lion, pawing to get freeHis hinder parts, then springs as broke from Bonds,And Rampant shakes his Brinded main; the Ounce,The Libbard, and the Tyger, as the MoaleRising, the crumbl’d Earth above them threwIn Hillocks; the swift Stag from under groundBore up his branching head: scarse from his mouldBehemoth biggest born of Earth upheav’dHis vastness: Fleec’t the Flocks and bleating rose,As Plants: ambiguous between Sea and LandThe River Horse and scalie Crocodile. John Milton John Milton was an English poet, polemicist and civil servant who was born in 1608 and died in 1674. Prodigiously learned, he composed poetry in Latin and Italian as well as English, and could also read Greek, Hebrew, French, Spanish, Old English and Dutch. He took the side of Parliament in the English Civil War and was a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Cromwell. He was an outspoken prose writer, who defended the execution of Charles I as well as the principle of free speech in the Commonwealth.  Early in his career, he mastered a wide range of verse forms and became well known for works including Lycidas and Comus. By the time he came to write Paradise Lost, in the reign of Charles II, he was blind, impoverished and out of favour. But he persisted and produced what is generally considered one of the greatest works of world literature. A Mouthful of Air – the podcast This is a transcript of an episode of A Mouthful of Air – a poetry podcast hosted by Mark McGuinness. New episodes are released every other Tuesday. You can hear every episode of the podcast via Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts or your favourite app. You can have a full transcript of every new episode sent to you via email. The music and soundscapes for the show are created by Javier Weyler. Sound production is by Breaking Waves and visual identity by Irene Hoffman. A Mouthful of Air is produced by The 21st Century Creative, with support from Arts Council England via a National Lottery Project Grant. Listen to the show You can listen and subscribe to A Mouthful of Air on all the main podcast platforms Related Episodes Ə [Schwa] by Paul Blake Episode 35 Ə [Schwa] by Paul Blake  Paul Blake reads ‘ə [Schwa]’ and discusses the poem with Mark McGuinness.This poem is from: A Massacre of Hummingbirds by Paul Blake Available from: A Massacre of Hummingbirds is available from: The publisher: Stonewood Press... Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Episode 34 Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Mark McGuinness reads and discusses ‘Kubla Khan’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.Poet Samuel Taylor ColeridgeReading and commentary by Mark McGuinnessKubla Khan Or, A Vision in a Dream. A Fragment. by Samuel Taylor Coleridge... Sentience by Maggie Sawkins Episode 33 Sentience by Maggie Sawkins  Maggie Sawkins reads ‘Sentience’ and discusses the poem with Mark McGuinness.This poem is from: The House Where Courage Lives by Maggie Sawkins Available from: The House Where Courage Lives is available from: The publisher:... The post From Paradise Lost by John Milton appeared first on A Mouthful of Air.

36mins

5 Jul 2022

Similar People

Episode artwork

Chapter 14. John Milton, or: Walking Tour de Force

The Dubious Book of Famous Deeds

Allana Reoch is here to learn all the strange, tragic and uncomfortably public details about legendary poet John Milton, all against the backdrop of the English Civil War. The guy was a major pill but will Allana come around on him? Does she have a soft spot for broken things?? Or is John Milton just *that* charming??? (He isn’t.) Brought to you By: The Sonar Network

48mins

6 Jun 2022

Episode artwork

Paradise Lost, by John Milton. Part II.

Great Audiobooks

Paradise Lost, by John Milton (1608 - 1674).Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy

5hr 16mins

26 Mar 2022

Most Popular

Episode artwork

Paradise Lost, by John Milton. Part I.

Great Audiobooks

Paradise Lost, by John Milton (1608 - 1674).Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy

5hr 42mins

26 Mar 2022

Episode artwork

376 Why John Milton? (with Joe Moshenska)

The History of Literature

Yes, John Milton was important, and yes, Paradise Lost has been part of the canon since the 17th century - but why should we read anything by John Milton today? Do we imbibe his poetry like medicine? Is it a slog through cerebral but sterile prose? Or is there something wilder, more compelling, more alive? In this episode, Jacke talks to biographer Joe Moshenska, author of Making Darkness Light: A Life of John Milton, about the poet beloved by everyone from Virginia Woolf to Jorge Luis Borges to revolutionaries all over the world.More listening ideas: Want more Milton? We've got you covered in Episode #154 John Milton. Ready for more wild poetic visions? Try our episode on William Blake. Poetry not your thing? Check out our interview with Samantha Silva about the life of Mary Wollstonecraft. Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1hr 6mins

24 Jan 2022

Episode artwork

John Milton’s Comus - Interview with director Heather Davies

Musicians In Ordinary Podcast

Director Heather Davies discusses the special challenges of the masque form, Milton’s verse and the rehearsal process in the time of covid with John Edwards. Visit https://musiciansinordinary.ca/episodes to click through the series and download mp3s to add to your music playlist. Heather Davies was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and grew up in Toronto, Ontario. She’s trained as a dancer, singer, actor and musician and has worked professionally since her teens. Heather moved to the UK to continue her actor training; she lived and worked in theatre there for 18 years. In 2001 she began focusing on directing full-time when she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company as a resident director, working there for nearly three years. She returned to Canada in 2007 to attend the MFA- Theatre program at York University, graduating in April 2009. From September 2009 to February 2011 she was the Artistic Associate at The Grand Theatre in London Ontario. She continues to enjoy directing, writing, teaching and adapting in the UK and across Canada. In 2017 Heather became the first Artistic Director of The Ryga Festival, (inspired by renowned Canadian writer, George Ryga) in Summerland, BC and directing Colours in the Storm at the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario. In 2018, as well as returning to Summerland, Heather’s stage adaptation, Judith: memories of a Lady Pig Farmer, (based on the original novel, Judith, by Alberta writer Ardith Van Herk), will premiere at the Blyth Festival. Other projects in development include Silverfish (an original play about economic migration) and the stage adaptation of Night Desk, (novel by George Ryga).

22mins

19 Jan 2022

Episode artwork

John Milton

Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast

Batman, Captain America and Milton’s Paradise Lost.

46mins

19 Jan 2022

Episode artwork

Episode 19: Quests of a Cultural Pioneering Shaman with John Milton

"Ordinary Habits, Extraordinary Life" with Maria Bailey

“If you want to go back to the umbilical cord of the universe, check this out.”This is how I was introduced to John P. Milton 20 years ago.John P. Milton is a pioneering ecologist, spiritual teacher, meditation Master, vision quest leader, and shaman. He was one of the first ecologists ever on staff at the White House as a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisors and one of the first people in opening the use of the word “environment” to describe our culture's paradigm shift into our responsibly ecological view of our oneness with Earth. (Future Environments of North America, 1966)John is the author of “Sky above, Earth Below” and founder of Sacred Passage and The Way of Nature Fellowship. He and his guides offer sacred passage awareness trainings, and wilderness solo experiences for leaders that inspire earth stewardship, by cultivating natural will wisdom and an open, loving heart in the wild. "John Milton is one of the truly important teachers coming out of the American cultural context today; he has a unique capacity to help people into an encounter with nature that catalyzes their deepest sense of purpose and innate capacities as leaders."~Peter Senge, MIT senior lecturer, author of The Fifth Discipline and co-author of PresenceIn this interview: Get out of the house!•Ignite your passion: Reconnect to nature.•Open your senses: Discover your outer, inner and true nature.•Create the possibility for something new: Disconnect from human culture completely.“Stones were created for the purpose of reconnection to the world of outer nature, and the rest of life.” ~ John P. MiltonAnd: The Mandalic Experience•How you see things, how you hear things, how you touch things, •How things touch you, how things see you, how things hear you.“Perceptions are the vehicle with which you will make connection [with your inner nature].” ~ John P. MiltonPlus:The Earthing Process •The Power of Solitude•Walking barefoot on the earth“Open awareness is the fundamental discovery. There's nothing simpler than open awareness.” ~ John P. MiltonUntil soon! Be curious, be inspired, simplify the way…John P. Miltonwww.sacredpassage.com

1hr 10mins

22 Jun 2021

Episode artwork

John Milton - pt. 2

Grace Presbyterian Church

1hr 7mins

5 May 2021

Loading