1 of 2
1
BL: moonstruck
Posted: 21 October 2013 04:28 AM   [ Ignore ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4742
Joined  2007-01-03

Love makes you do the wacky

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 October 2013 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2836
Joined  2007-01-31

It might be worth mentioning that the association of the moon with madness goes back far beyond Milton, e.g. Latin lunaticus, med. Greek selenobletos; “moon-struck” is essentially a calque of the latter.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 October 2013 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4742
Joined  2007-01-03

I do mention it in the first paragraph, but I don’t go into details. (If I did that, none of the articles would ever end. There are always more connections.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 October 2013 09:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  351
Joined  2012-01-10

Minor nitpick: the second half of the first sentence (after the Buffy quote) reads, “and that is the concept behind the modern use of the word moonstruck is exactly that.” Either the “that is” after “and” or the “is exactly that” after “moonstruck” should go.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 October 2013 03:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4742
Joined  2007-01-03

Thanks

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 October 2013 05:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2331
Joined  2007-01-30

Pope was the first poet that came to my mind.

Now flamed the Dog-star’s unpropitious ray,
Smote every brain and withered every bay,
Sick was the sun, the owl forsook his bower,
The moon-struck prophet felt the madding hour

There are deliberate echoes of Milton (as well as Homer and Virgil) throughout the mock-epic Dunciad (these lines are from the beginning of Book IV). Checking the context in Paradise Lost I was sucked in by the verse again and decided it was high time to re-read the work. Those magnificent cadences! It’s as if you’re listening to the language of God himself!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 October 2013 06:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4742
Joined  2007-01-03

While I often joke that anything written after 1200 is “modernist crap,” I will admit that Milton is glorious.

And it’s even more extraordinary when you realize how he composed it, composing about thirty lines a day in his head, then waking up the next morning and dictating them to his amanuenses. How one can hold that many lines in one’s working memory—not simply memorizing them, but being able to manipulate and work with them in his head—is beyond me. (The average person holds 2–4 seconds worth of speech in their working memory.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 October 2013 05:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3498
Joined  2007-01-29

Poetry is not (ordinary) speech; it’s designed to be memorable (Mikhail Gronas has written brilliantly about this).  It’s not that much of a feat to hold hundreds of lines of poetry in one’s head—if, of course, you’re used to doing that sort of thing.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 October 2013 09:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4742
Joined  2007-01-03

But that’s not what I’m talking about. Yes, it’s easy (or at least not remarkable) to memorize incredibly long passages of not only poetry, but prose as well. It’s something entirely different to compose more than one or two lines of complex verse in your head.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 October 2013 05:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3498
Joined  2007-01-29

Eh, I’ve done it, and people like Mandelstam did it routinely for many years.  Like so many apparently remarkable feats, it’s a matter of practice.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 October 2013 05:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1369
Joined  2007-01-29

Modernist Crap

With rhythms and rhymes at their worst
My post is sometimes the first
To pop up.  All the same,
Lionello’s to blame:
In complex rhymes his are immersed.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 October 2013 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4742
Joined  2007-01-03

Oral poetry differs significantly from literary poetry. Orally composed verse usually relies heavily on a stock of set phrases, often that meet particular metrical requirements, that are repeated throughout the work as necessary, hence “Hector, breaker of horses,” “rosy-fingered dawn,” and “wine-dark sea.” (The Homeric poems that survive today are not truly oral, as they’ve been edited by later literate poets, but there are vestiges of oral-formulaic composition within them.) Oral poetry tends to lack dependent clauses and complex sentences, favoring compounding of clauses for extended sentences. Also, the exact wording of oral poetry often changes. The poet establishes certain guideposts, and the language in between varies from performance to performance. In short, the format of oral poetry is designed to bypass the limitations of the brain’s working memory.

What Milton did was something quite different. He produced literary poetry almost entirely in his head. (He did have some written aid, as presumably his amanuenses would recite back to him, but he still had to manipulate many lines in his head.) He managed to create clauses in blank verse that extend across many lines and made significant use of complex sentences. Etc.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 October 2013 07:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3498
Joined  2007-01-29

But that (as I keep saying) is neither astonishing nor all that uncommon.  Mandelstam composed all his poetry in his head (and tongue); he hated composing on paper.  Poetry comes to one’s mind and mouth, not to one’s fingers.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 October 2013 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2331
Joined  2007-01-30

And Homer, of course, (if there was a single poet by that name, and I like to think there was) not only composed his epics in his head but also transmitted them orally through the Homeridae, until they were at last committed to writing in 6th century BC Athens under the tyrant Pisistratos.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 October 2013 10:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2018
Joined  2007-02-19

Whether written in prose or in verse,
ElizaD’s postings are terse.
Do not get her annoyed!
(You’ll be swiftly destroyed
In terse prose—or terse verse, which is worse!)

;-)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 October 2013 02:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1369
Joined  2007-01-29

Lionello’s response is to serve
A reply my pome didn’t deserve.
Though this post proves he’s right,
I’m not picking a fight,
For he posts with panache and with verve.
;)

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 2
1
 
‹‹ Are accents disappearing?      Lest ››