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Tears of perfect moan generate, create none none with none projectsqr barcode generation api skd for However, the none none poem is worthy of extended comment. Not only is it the only poem about Lady Jane that actually treats her death explicitly and at length as a death in childbirth, but it is also one of the few full-length elegies in the period as a whole that attempted to structure itself entirely around figures of a catastrophic birth and to provide a consolation specifically adapted to such an occasion. The poem is far more ambitious and original than most critics have thought (much more so than we might expect from a poet as young as Milton was in 1631).

4 In its approach to maternal mortality, it shows a keen awareness of medical and ritual practices. It draws on the rich and complex discourses of childbed consolation that were available at the time, as well as on figures used in the few poems about maternal death Milton might have read, including a remarkable elegy by Michael Drayton that might have provided its most immediate model. The structure and occasion are fully integrated with one another, and Milton has consciously set out to sum up and better what other poets had so far achieved (or failed to achieve) in confronting this vexing subject.

He deliberately constructed his consolation in a way that conflates signs of his own literary ambitions with a strikingly complex idealization of Jane Paulet s powers (both realized and unrealized) not only as a pious, suffering, and literally self-sacrificial mother, but also as a potential evangelist for the Protestant cause. The poem s act of literary representation is ambitiously designed to recuperate the loss of Lady Jane s potential maternal and evangelizing powers, suggesting not only that these powers were interdependent, but that their recuperation required a wholesale revision of the Jonsonian elegy. maternal mortality and the early modern english funeral elegy In order to explain more fully how Milton accomplished such a revision, and why he was moved to do so, I would like to address the question of why the epideictic funeral poem, the most significant body of poetry on death in.

Microsoft Office Excel Website At this point (at the age of twenty-four), Milton was the author of approximately forty poems, mostly exercises and epistolary poems in Latin (including the seven elegies ). He had also written a Greek epigram, five sonnets and one canzone in Italian, two psalm paraphrases, and a handful of poems in English ( On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of a Cough, Sonnet I, Song: On May Morning, On the Morning of Christs Nativity, The Passion, On Shakespear, and the two Hobson poems). He had also written the English verse section of At a Vacation Exercise and, perhaps, L Allegro and Il Penseroso.

Of these (if we exclude the companion poems), only the Nativity ode and On Shakespear have received adequate attention, but these early works show a very high degree of technical mastery and self-conscious ambition. For useful surveys that pay particular attention to Milton s mastery of form, see John T. Shawcross, Form and Content in Milton s Latin Elegies, The Huntington Library Quarterly 33 (1970), 315 50 and Intentionality and the New Traditionalism: Some Liminal Means to Literary Revisionism (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991), pp.

141 56.. Milton and Maternal Mortality the period, s eems to have largely ignored maternal mortality, or at least failed by and large to treat it with anything but a very narrow set of conventional figures. There are remarkable exceptions to the general silence, but they are relatively rare, and their rarity itself is worth some extended consideration.5 One brief example of the sort of poem Milton might have seen will illustrate what I mean by the narrowness of conventional treatments.

The following is an epitaph written for a woman named Anne Scott who died in childbirth on November 10, 1617. In the early eighteenth century, John Le Neve found it inscribed on her tomb in Great St. Mary s Church, Cambridge, the official church of Cambridge University, and Milton could very well have read it there:.

Under this Ma none for none rble Stone a Matron lyes, Who to gyve lyfe her own did sacrifice: The happy womb that gave so many breath Became her Infants Tomb, her Infants death.6. Michael Drayt on s Upon the death of Mistris Elianor Fallowfield is a remarkable exception (see below). Only a few other poems that explicitly make reference to maternal mortality predate Milton s, and most fail to construct any extended figures. See, for example, Nicholas Grimald s Upon the Tomb of A.

W. and the anonymous Of the ladie Wentworth s Death in Tottel s Miscellany (1557 1587), ed. Hyder Edward Rollins (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1928), pp.

109, 166 7. Several elegies on childbed death that mention the subject only glancingly can be found in William Crashawe, The Honor of Virtue (London, 1620). Among the other poems on Lady Jane, Eliot s is the only one, other than Milton s, that mentions the cause of death directly.

The anonymous epitaphs On a Lady dying in childe bed and On an infant unborne, the Mother dying in travell, collected as numbers 90 and 136 in Sir John Mennes, Wits Recreations (London, 1641) are probably earlier than their publication date (the collection contains many poems dating back to the early decades of the seventeenth century and beyond including seven epitaphs for Thomas Hobson, the university carrier for whom Milton also wrote two poems just a few months before Lady Jane s death). This is also possibly true of the epitaph in BL MS Sloane 1446. That poem and the second of the two epitaphs from Wits Recreations are among the more elaborate examples we have.

Poems that possibly or certainly postdate Milton s include Robert Herrick s Upon a young mother of many children, Upon Batt, Upon a Lady that died in child-bed, and left a daughter, and Upon Lady Crew : see The Poems of Robert Herrick, ed. L. C.

Martin (London: Oxford University Press, 1965), pp. 58, 72, 126, 304; Lady Jane Cavendish s, On the death of my Deare Sister the Countesse of Bridgewater, in Kissing the Rod: an Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Women s Verse, ed. Germaine Greer (New York, NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1989), p.

118; George Wither s An Epitaph upon a Woman, and her Child, buried together in the same Grave, in The English Spenserians, ed. William B. Hunter (Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press, 1977), p.

192. Three out of the five elegies appended to the publication of Edmund Staunton s sermon on the death of Elizabeth Wilkinson suggest that she died in childbed: see Edmund Staunton, A Sermon Preacht at Great Milton in the County of Oxford: Decemb: 9. 1654 (Oxford, 1659), pp.

37 44. Quoted from John Le Neve, Monumenta Anglicana: Being Inscriptions on the Monuments of several Eminent Persons Deceased in or since the year 1600. to the end of year 1649 (London, 1719), p.

63. See Parker, pp. 25, 42 and J.

Milton French, The Life Records of John Milton, 5 vols. (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1949), vol. I, pp.

180 9 for Milton s connections with the church. Raymond A. Anselment offers some brief comments on the epitaph and one of the two from Wits Recreations in Realms of Apollo: Literature and Healing in Seventeenth-Century England (New York, NJ: University of Delaware Press, 1995), pp.

74 5..
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