On reading Milton out loud, some personal reflections. When the voice and the vagus nerve are resonating we can enjoy rejuvenating effects, We are better able to create from a relaxed, social engagement system. Reading poetry out loud is an art form and I am glad we are practicing together, bringing an old text to life. This is more effective, in my view, than a cerebral close reading, that favors third person theoretical accounts of Milton. What I call reading from the neck up.
I watched our video, as we did our somatic work and was aware of a difference that makes a difference. Maybe a different kind of performance/discourse can emerge, that takes the older aesthetics and does something else with it than try to divide and monetize. Can the astral and cyber co-specify? This is a somatic-digital re-education, we are engaged in, as we move, mime, re-model, and with vocal techniques, nurture a communal aspect that is in danger of getting lost in the noise.
I came across a quote from a Millennial Occultist which I liked." It may take more than a lifetime to make sense of a single sentence received in a dream; still, no one knows better than ourselves. Ora, lege et labora."
A few weeks ago I heard a voice in a dream. It had a metallic, recorded quality, and it did not have a sense of my own voice but of someone else, a male voice, in standard English, coming through an acoustic device, but with an intimate, warm tone.
The voice said, clearly, " And two centuries later, she became the Christ" I want to tune into this voice. Perhaps something similar happened to Milton?
Marco said he wants to write a poem the way Milton did. I imagine that Milton is a very good model for each of us to study at this time, in a small circle of serious practitioners. Thanks to my fellow thespians in training.
Also, there is evidence that those with cognitive impairment are benefited by reading poetry out loud. I have researched this and found this a valuable practice for engaging with the elderly suffering from the vicissitudes of life. The voice can become gentle and precise, and convey something that goes beyond us. Catching a rhythm is crucial. More on this later.
Yes, thanks, Doug, for the temporary link—I have been going through a challenging time; it has been nearly impossible to keep up with most every commitment I have made here. But the Milton reading has been a lifeline, a pilot flame kept alive, thanks especially to Geoffrey and John for lending their visionary voices to the exercise.
These readings are the closest thing I have to faith and church—except much better! More exciting, more inspiring, more humbling and demanding. We have not even yet met Adam and Eve or explored the nature of their primordial union. I perhaps still only know the Sunday School versions of these, our mythical progenitors. They are still only cartoon characters to me.
The deeper we get into this book (which I’ve not before read) the more I realize what an astounding achievement it was and remains—and how much has been lost, it seems to me, from our capacities of consciousness, for a human mind to have been able to produce such a feat of poetic language. We have a long way to go to recover the efficient mythic-mental on the way to integrality. I am honored to have such sensitive and dynamic companions for the journey.
Thank you, Marco.
And that pilot flame kept alive…and when kept alive…what happens next?
This is a deep learning, Marco, and I imagine we are moving towards a profound mutation as we re-activate our lost ways of doing poetry and mind. There is maze of lost and found knowledge, just underneath the surface of our suburb centric gas guzzling culture… bring that pilot light with you!