Focusing on each word, its placement, the plenitude of meanings it may have, has been exhausting. Exhausting but rewarding every time I find myself finding or thinking that I have a found a way in, a mechanism, alive and functioning within the poem. One such example from book one, only a line within the the first 10 lines of the poem, Milton, in his retelling the Genesis creation narrative leaves this breadcrumb, “how the heav’ns and earth/ Rose out of chaos”. The word Rose I take to be reference to the Celestial Rose of Dante and speaks to the reconciliation of Dante with the divine, this reconciliation is just what Milton intends to do with his own poem.

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  1. I too find myself entrenched in the deliberate ambiguity of Milton’s meaning. Nothing is simple with Milton, as Doctor C pointed out last class. Milton’s objective was to write “beyond” himself from spiritual realms, where when he calls upon the Muse an outer-body experience occurs.

    As for Dante’s “Rose.” I’m not sure if it applies here, since Milton is using “Rose” as a verb, whereas Dante’s “Celestial Rose” is a proper noun.

  2. I would have to agree with you that trying to understand everything that Milton left behind and the multi meanings of the words placements to be exhausting too. This is an interesting comparison and I like that Milton leaves things up for interpretation of what they could mean or do mean to him, which in a way makes this that much more difficult to understand exactly what his point is but I think that he does it deliberately which adds depth to his works.

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