"the anxiety of influence":

John Milton and the Roman Catholic 'Christ Poet' & the

'Song-Wing Roman Catholic eagle'; and James Joyce. 

 

At King's College, London, as an undergraduate, I was both a Joycean and a Miltonist, and it

was once my ambition to be a Miltonist. However, as a practising Roman Catholic, I finally

rejected Milton, a Puritan poet, consumed by politics, to sing new epic poetry and sonnets, as the 'Christ Poet', and the 'song-wing Roman Catholic eagle'.

Dante, Virgil and Andrew discuss 'the anxiety of influence' in Dante's Inferno as it is 2013:

 

'Of him, has high Virgil, already rightly syllabled, shall

Later yield the high escutcheons of 'Eucharist', the

Circumcision of the saints for catholicity and

 

Saints universal of the heavens, to 'Eikonoklastes'

Smash his, of the late, 'things unattempted yet in

Prose or rhyme'. He follows in the name of one

 

John Milton, and, is by name, Andrew, and by profession,

Ex-religious; and by revelation of these exquisite

'Christ Sonnets' here, whose paling sere have been

 

Jutted into my own verse, 'La Vita Nuova', as, overhung

The dove above the Galilean, he has earned the right

Of due entertain, within so umeagre a presentation

 

As mine, and lofty of that driving Publius'.

'The Christ Colloquy', Book I Commedia, Canto IX, 106-118.

Dante discusses 'Eucharist', a new epic poem designed to compete directly with 'Paradise Lost',  and readily admits before Virgil, 'The Christ Sonnets', written in pure devotion in Rome at 31,  won Andrew his admittance into Inferno, after Christ's Passion, on Good Friday night 2013, to have the honour of writing a new literary 'gospel 'in seven books for Christ and Our Lady.

Exterior to both Modernism and Postmodernism, and celebrated writers, like T. S. Eliot,  Ezra Pound and Samuel Beckett, and major movements, like magical realism, I am returning to the classic form of epic poetry too, in order to dissect my relationship with John Milton. I have written 'Eucharist', an epic poem in twelve books, on Christ's Second Coming and Judgement Day. The new hero, miles Christi, is sent by God the Father, to war with Milton's Satan and the fallen angels in Rome on Dies Irae. I have also developed, a 'grand new style' in 'Vinum', to directly challenge Milton as my once 'master'. Book I of  'Eucharist' begins in media res:

 

       Of Man's last treatment days, I sing, brought to

Conveying wail of that final judicial of Mankind's

Judgement day,         Dies Irae       and the unlordly

Rowl of Satanic might - infernal armies led, fed, by

The lustre of the darkest light, gross Satan's, unlight.

         When, wingy Jesus the Christ, did recome to reconfigure

Us, from our darkest night, and was blazing blitzed

Out above Papal Primacy of lustrous Italy's Rome,

Battle royal and prime, above the holy quadrants

Of unconciliatory ring of Tree, Saint Peter's basilica,

And great Porta's pomp of dome; - and loosed out,

Above, around the Eternal City, came, the defending, undry

Marching squadroning angels to the barking

Roar of foul, nefarious underworld; for, of Man's

Inglorious                   Dies Irae      I sing; and so,

I soft emit, in blessed Trinity of ring, enfathered, ensonned

Enspirited, enwrapped, of, this most specied theme,

I treat beloved, blind magister, of earthed requite due to

Centuried Roman 'Aeneid's' Virgil and guileless English,

Leading blind guide of this sublimest, most true

Lofted, flighted theme, untethered by dark page

Of Roman pagan auctor, or, blousy dissembling

Comportitude of an incomplete Christian puritan;

I, His 'songwing eagle', of acknowledged, Christian, Roman Catholic

Of, enlovelied, purity of wing.

'Eucharist', Book I, 1-25, Grattan.                                              

 

Suffer then, you, who did long me instruct,

Some final usurp of filial destiny...

'Eucharist',  Book I,  48-49, Grattan.

the 'Christ poet' addresses his 'great original', John Milton.

 

'You are mint, miles, but I am mighty in evil, and in usury unchecked'.

'Eucharist', Book IX, 666, Grattan. 

Milton's Satan and miles Christi on the dome of St Peter's on Judgement Day in Rome.

 

'Now sweet, blind puritan, I have eclipsed even you, to turn the yew unto true'.

'Vinum', Book I, 528-9, Grattan.

the 'Christ poet' and a grand new style.

 

I was also greatly influenced, by James Joyce's 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man', and

I became a postulant, when I was 26, to be a scholar, gentleman monk, and sang Gregorian Chant in the monastic choir-stalls, to rebuild the logos Joyce desecrated in 'Finnegans Wake' in prayer, thereby, also rejecting the influence and world view of Joyce. I wrote a short,

accessible novel, 'Christ', during the novitiate there, as an introduction to the themes in my work, using simple language, with allusions to Dante, Milton and Joyce. The prose style is intentionally plain, a reaction, to what some contemporary critics termed 'purple patches' in Joyce's, 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man'. Andreas Christianus, is the postulation of a

being morally and intellectually superior, to Joyce's artist Stephen, and he also features in 'Corpus Christi' and 'Crucifix'.

  

My thought is apolitical, unlike both Dante and Milton, purely theocentric, and refined utopianism, sourced in More's 'Utopia', which addresses the full complexity of spiritual and

temporal concerns in life. I am twinned with Dante too, in knowing the sharp pain of exile:

 

 

                                                                  I  ON HIS HIGH EXILE anno aetatis 35                     

                                                                           

                                                         Jesus: when I ponder on the flesh-tissue that is done,

                                                         The holy ore of choir-fire from out my throat;

                                                         No Chrysostom mouth within me is further won,

                                                         But triumphant rings that past of over-moot;

                                                         Two twin giants sought  the passage of my

                                                         Overthrow - Preen and Under-meek, and none

                                                         Within me of stasis was twinning inward soft lent,

                                                         As bent traducing steps of steering Moses' staff,

                                                         Slowly lent, to desert walkless ways, unabbas path

                                                         Of stones, and monkless bent; tribes to trailing

                                                         Fortitude - pacts and complicit were preachless lent.

                                                         England's unruly green was unAvalon greetless sent,

                                                         As Dante to a Sinai come, the prophet of the Tuscan

                                                         Sun, and snake to staff, and staff, make me unKent.

                                                                                                  'The Sonnet Collection', Grattan.      

Christ: a depiction of the writer as an
English Benedictine Novice

  This is a short, accessible account of a year spent as an English Benedictine Novice at Adonai Abbey, when I was 27, and is the first volume of The Chrysolite Collection, with 'The Christ Sonnets' an'Corpus Christi'. The word "chrysolite", from Shakespeare's 'Othello', becomes "the light of Christ" throughout my books, refracted in the encyclical Lumen Gentium of Vatican II. This book is written in a plain and simple prose style, with references to more advanced writers, including the desert fathers, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton and Joyce. In the novel, the novice begins his intellectual and spiritual vocational journey, and search for the truth, by consciously commingling the canonical English poetry of John Milton's poem, 'At A Vacation Exercise', with the canonical language of the Church, the Latin Psalms of Gregorian Chant, thereby discerning the true relationship between the Logos and the logos, which concludes in the pure and truthful telos of 'The Christ Colloquy'.  

 tba

Corpus Christi: a bildungsroman

Written at Blackfriars College, Oxford, during the summer of 2009, this is an account of the

genesis of the soul of the ex-English Benedictine novice, as he becomes Dr. Andreas Christianus, a Senior English Lecturer at King's College, London, delineating his intellectual and spiritual journey. He begins as a Miltonist, developing into a Dante scholar, specializing too, in Roman Catholicism and World Literature. Fr. Dominic Catholicus, an Aquinas expert, encourages Christianus to join the English Province, and apply, for the vacant post of Writer in Residence at Blackfriars, but, over the course of the week-end, Christianus discerns against against a vocation to the Dominicans, to pursue excellence in English at King's.  

tba  

Crucifix

Set in Rome, over the Seven Days of Holy Week in 2018, this novel exhibits the total  assimilation of the soul of Dr. Andreas Christinaus wthin the very fabric of the city of Rome, the eternal city, and overhauls and overwhelms the concept of Joyce's 'Bloomsday', with seven, sublime, 'Holyweekdays'. Designed to question and negate the views of life portrayed in 'Ulysses', in T.S. Eliot's famous quotation "the book to which we are all indebted and from which none of us can escape", the novel is composed in a new, modified "stream of consciousness", with coherent grammatical sentences, structured with proper semes of ordered thought, contrasting with Modernism's experimental datedness, and the era of Freud and Jung.

 tba

Eucharist: an epic poem in twelve books on
Christ's Second Coming and Judgement Day

 

The 'Christ-poet' is baptized in the river Galillee, by Mersome, the angel of the Holy Trinity, to sing new epic poetry after his great original and master, John Milton, and he selects the theme of Judgement Day, as the second greatest theme to be explored in epic poetry, after the Fall of Man, in 'Paradise Lost'. Milton's Satan cries for the blood of Christ, from Pandemonium, and God the Father, sends miles Christi, the soldier of Christ, to vanquish evil for good. War breaks out on Judgement Day in Rome in Book IX.

 tba

Jesus: an epic poem in five books

This brief epic poem, was inspired by Milton's 'Paradise Regained' anclose reading of the Gospels. It exhibits new forms, patterns and variations in line layout, building on the grand style of 'Eucharist', and serves as a bridging poem to the grand new style of 'Vinum', where I break away entirely, from being a 'disciple' of the Chalfont poet, his political beliefs, and  theological system, as an orthodox Roman Catholic poet, the 'Christ-poet', accepting the

the full teachings of the Roman Catholic Church contained in the Catechism and Magisterium and embracing, my own, new, unique voice, as an epic poet.

 tba

Vinum: an epic poem on the
History of Christianity in twenty-four books

An epic poem on the History of Christianity, is the last, great new theme in World Literature, and this poem is designed for 'an audience fit, though few'. The opening book, sees the soul of the 'Christ-poet' surveying the seven hills of Rome, contrasting them with Milton's Aonian mount. The political poets, Dante and Milton, are set in context, with the work of a new, apolitical poet, before the History of Christianity is explored poetically, including its greatest periods and prominent figures, for example, Church Councils such as Nicaea, the 'filio atque' debate, the emperor Constantine, and Henry VIII in England.

 tba

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