Sunday, April 3, 2011

BW14: M is for Milton

April is National Poetry month so what better way to celebrate poetry than with John Milton.  In our Well Educated Mind quest, poetry is one of the categories.  Most of the poets on the list may be found online. There are numerous site where you may read Paradise Lost or even download it to your e-reader from Project Gutenberg. is full of information about Milton, his life and his works. Darkness Visible, hosted by Christ's College at Cambridge University, has everything you need to know about Milton and Paradise Lost including plot summary of each of the books, history of the illustrations, Milton's life, religion and politics and his influence on later writers.   It is a wonderful, interesting, educational site for studying Paradise Lost.  You'll get lost for a few hours, in a good way. Believe me! 

The beginning of book 1

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, that, on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That shepherd who first taught the chosen seed
In the beginning how the heavens and earth
Rose out of Chaos: or, if Sion hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flowed
Fast by the oracle of God, I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th' Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
And chiefly thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all temples th' upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for thou know'st; thou from the first
Wast present, and, with mighty wings outspread,
Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast Abyss,
And mad'st it pregnant: 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.

Say first--for Heaven hides nothing from thy view,
Nor the deep tract of Hell--say first what cause
Moved our grand parents, in that happy state,
Favoured of Heaven so highly, to fall off
From their Creator, and transgress his will
For one restraint, lords of the World besides.
Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?
Th' infernal Serpent; he it was whose guile,
Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived
The mother of mankind, what time his pride
Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host
Of rebel Angels, by whose aid, aspiring
To set himself in glory above his peers,
He trusted to have equalled the Most High,
If he opposed, and with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God,
Raised impious war in Heaven and battle proud,
With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power
Hurled headlong flaming from th' ethereal sky,
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy th' Omnipotent to arms.

Continue it here, here, or here.


Link to your most current read.  Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link.  In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis.  In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url. 

If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post. 



  1. If a Dog Could Blog is a children's book but it was sent to me for review. ;)

  2. Thank you for hosting the challenge! It's been wonderful reading each week as part of the challenge; and finding new books to read from the ones that have been featured in past weeks by others.

  3. Every week, I wonder: what will Robin post about this week! It's exciting! Thanks for doing this challenge. I am enjoying it so much.

  4. I love the challenge, I'm a little behind in my reviews, but I will catch up! This Jane Austen re-telling of Persuasion was very good :)

  5. Great as always to read your posts and it has reminded me that I must read some poetry as part of the challenge.


  6. @Bookdragon: Sounds adorable!

    @HarvestMoon: Makes me happy!

    @Faith: Funny - Every week I wonder the same thing! :)

    @Hen Jen: Sending catch up vibes your way. Glad you are enjoying the challenge.

    @Paul: The one area I'm lacking in, so trying to make up for it.

  7. I didn't know it was national poetry month

  8. @Kaye - Now that you know, go read some poetry. Better yet, take a stab at writing some. I'm not big with poetry myself but learning to appreciate it.

  9. Poetry is great. I love Poe, and Frost. One of my favorite poems is "The Road Not Taken."

  10. Hi Robin,
    I missed the Wk 14 link up. I read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. Have a great day!

    Just Books


Thank you for your kind comments.