Rickard A Parker wrote:
> Also, I don't think a cistern
> needs much of a note on allusions, even an empty, broken one. But if
> we could find an empty, broken cistern that sings, now that would be a
> different matter.
Yes. This is my point in raising the question of a miltonic allusion in
Pope's ten low words passage. Milking every word for every possible echo
or sense of that word is lunacy. "Creep" occurs an endless number of
times in English, as does "cistern," and there is no basis whatever to
link any of those uses to either Milton or Pope unless there is
something definite in the text as a whole for for the linkage. That is
the principle (if I'm reading the marginal scribbles in my copy of 4Q
correctly) that led Austin Warren in lecturing on that poem to suggest
that the echo of Doyle in that poem was merely a borrowing and _not_ an
allusion -- i.e., it does not illuminate but obscure meaning to try to
explain why doyle enters the poem at that point.
The more (apparent) allusions there are in a text probably the more
important it is to ignore most of them to avoid impossible clutter.