Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I’ve been reading Milton lately, and enjoying it immensely. Yesterday I went through “L’allegro” and “Ill Penseroso” for the first time in many years, and once again experienced the pleasure of the smooth rhythms as well as the almost inexplicable beauty of the writing. While reading it, I had by my side the on-line edition of Cleanth Brooks’ classic Understanding Poetry, which was a great help in illuminating the inner machinery of the poem. I also got out my old Cambridge edition of Keats, which has wonderful introductions to nearly every poem, as well as abundant notes. I sat in my comfortable chair overlooking the quiet street and read with great contentment. Life felt fairly perfect with Milton in my lap.

The deluge of Monday came to a halt overnight and yesterday the sun was bright and the air often felt as warm as March. If it’s like that again today, I intend to spend some time in the park, lolling about and dreaming of temperate spring days.

I had a fine workout at the gym yesterday, hunched over the handlebars of the bike and spinning the wheels as I listened to rousing songs on my iPod. Both sweat and calories streamed off me.

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