Tuesday, December 18, 2012


     Sometimes, in the early morning, I read a few pages from Milton’s Paradise Lost, and I find, surprisingly, that it helps me be a calmer and quieter person throughout the day. I think it must be the music of the poet’s lines. As I read in the morning, I feel almost like I’m listening to a symphony or some easygoing chamber music, and the serenity of the music seems to stay with me throughout the day. As I’m doing the dishes or driving somewhere or sweating through a workout, I wonder if lines like these occasionally roll through the back of my mind:

“… over all the face of Earth 

Main Ocean flow’d, not idle, but with warme 
Prolific humour soft’ning all her Globe, 

Fermented the great Mother to conceave, 

Satiate with genial moisture …”

In the midst of an occasional feeling of indecisiveness and perplexity, do those smooth ‘l’s, ‘m’s, ‘s’s, and ‘n’s of Milton’s make their melodies somewhere inside me, enabling me to flow along more effortlessly with what is happening? Do his laid-back rhythms cause my heart to keep a peaceable cadence as I’m living my daily life? Does a line like

 “And sowd with Starrs the Heav’n thick as a field”

help my thoughts flow along in leisure instead of dashing in a useless frenzy?

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