Thursday, August 13, 2009

Milton's Time-Warping Incantations

"[John Milton's] poetry acts like an incantation. Its merit lies less in its obvious meaning than in its occult power, and there would seem at first to be no more in his words than in other words. But they are words of enchantment. No sooner are they pronounced than the past is present and the distant near. New forms of beauty start at once into existence, and all the burial-places of the memory give up their dead."
—Thomas Babington Macaulay, Essay on Milton


Liza Ursu said...

Wow! I really enjoyed this post.
Thanks for sharing.

Eccentric Scholar said...

Thanks, Liza! It's quite a quotation, eh? And that zinger about the burial-places of memory giving up their dead--stunning!