Friday, December 11, 2009

Paradise Lost: Book One, John Milton

As seems to happen more speedily each year the holidays have arrived. I can't believe there are only 20 days left in 2009 and that means only 20 days left to add to my reading list. When I started this blog last January I was absolutely convinced that I would read many more books than I have at this point. So in the grand tradition of last ditch cramming I am attempting to get the numbers up. Why does it really matter? It doesn't, of course, but I tend to be pretty OCD about these things.

Which brings me to Paradise Lost. Not only have I not read as many books as I anticipated but I also have read a steady diet of Young Adult, fluff, or some combination of Young Adult & Fluff. Paradise Lost is one of those "someday I'll read that just not today" books for me so yesterday in my self-pity shopping trip to Barnes & Noble I took a deep breath and bought a copy.

Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
Sing heavenly Muse. (1-6)

What in me is dark,
Illumine; what is low, raise and support!
That to the height of this great argument
I may assert eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men. (22-26)

tears, such as angels weep, burst forth, at last
words interwove with sighs found out their way (620-621)

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading the first book. The poetry is beautiful and clear.

I have been using the following sites for more information:

Milton Reading Room

Gustave Dore's Paradise Lost Illustrations

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