24 September 2023

You Can Ride It. Really!

 I have long believed that John Milton wrote “Samson Agonistes” for essentially the same reasons why he wrote “Paradise Lost.”  For one, I think he was trying to express his political beliefs.  For another, I think he had a poetic sensibility—almost entirely aural—that he simply had to express.

What is the difference between those two works? “Paradise Lost” is an epic poem, while “Samson Agonistes” is a play of a particular kind:  a “closet drama,” which is intended to be read rather than performed. (I would argue that, like “Paradise Lost,” it—or at least parts of it—has to be read aloud in order to truly appreciate Milton’s poetics.)

There seem to be analogies to “closet” dramas in the bicycle world: bikes and components that are created, not to be ridden, but because, well, someone could create them.  An example is a bike with square wheels, which I showed in a previous post.

But, it seems that someone has actually ridden it:

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