By positioning ‘On the Morning of Christ's Nativity’ at the opening of his inaugural 1645 multilingual volume of collected poems, John Milton was rethinking a poem he had written many years earlier. The Nativity Ode should be read twice in any sitting: first, it should be read for its internal power and baroque complexity when viewed in its own right, as a devotional poem competing with many other similar poems in the same genre. Then, it should be read a second time as the opening lyric of Poems, where its intertextual dialogue with key poems positioned later in the sequence. This chapter follows the suggested process by reading the ode in the immediate aesthetic and cultural context of its inception in Milton's younger imagination. It concludes by reviewing the ode, and in particular the closing sequence on the flight of the pagan oracles, through the prism of the 1645 publication.
|Title of host publication||A new companion to Milton|
|Editors||Thomas N. Corns|
|Place of Publication||West Sussex, England|
|Number of pages||11|
|ISBN (Electronic)||9781118827833, 111882783X|
|State||Published - Mar 2016|
|Name||Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture|