on rhyme‏

by richibi


commenting on his choice of idiom
in Paradise Lost, John Milton writes
the following

“The measure is English heroic verse without rime, as that of Homer in
Greek, and of Virgil in Latin—rime being no necessary adjunct or true
ornament of poem or good verse, in longer works especially, but the
invention of a barbarous age, to set off wretched matter and lame metre;
graced indeed since by the use of some famous modern poets, carried away
by custom, but much to their own vexation, hindrance, and constraint to
express many things otherwise, and for the most part worse, than else they
would have expressed them. Not without cause therefore some both Italian
and Spanish poets of prime note have rejected rime both in longer and
shorter works, as have also long since our best English tragedies, as a thing
of itself, to all judicious ears, trivial and of no true musical delight; which
consists only in apt numbers, fit quantity of syllables, and the sense variously
drawn out from one verse into another, not in the jingling sound of like
endings—a fault avoided by the learned ancients both in poetry and all good
oratory. This neglect then of rime so little is to be taken for a defect, though
it may seem so perhaps to vulgar readers, that it rather is to be esteemed an
example set, the first in English, of ancient liberty recovered to heroic poem
from the troublesome and modern bondage of riming.”

“Paradise Lost”: The Verse

John Milton

_______________

that’s of course his opinion, what do
you think

and what, thus, do you think poetry is,
not an especially easy question

Richard

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