Wednesday, May 16, 2012

And in closing...

 
The blog is more than tragically neglected; it is past. What's future, we know not. I'm in a Miltonic mood, and had thought to leave you, gentle reader, with the blind poet's last elegiac lines from "Lycidas."
 
And now the Sun had stretch'd out all the hills,
And now was dropt into the Western bay;
At last he rose, and twitch'd his Mantle blew:
To morrow to fresh Woods, and Pastures new.
 
But possibly that's a little too on the nose, as they say in Hollywood. 
 
So here are some other lines from Milton, lines that I first typed out and pinned to my bulletin board when I was a fresh young editorial director at Henry Holt in 1990-something, and now no longer need to pin up because now there's the internet, and because I have them by heart. 

For books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous dragon's teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men. 
 
Books may have shape-shifted since Johnny Milton's time, but oh may those dragon's teeth spring up for ever! 


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