Philosophy of Milton in When I Consider how my Light is Spent and Borges in Poema de los dones

Philosophy of Milton in When I Consider how my Light is Spent and Borges in Poema de los dones

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The Philosophy of Milton in When I Consider how my Light is Spent and Borges in Poema de los dones   

    Jorge Luis Borges espoused a philosophy that "all men are each other" (Stabb 52). His literature frequents the theme by finding the repetition of events that transpire regardless of the person involved. His becoming blind coincided with his appointment as Director of the National Library of Argentina, and he understood this "splendid irony of God" as another wrinkle in the circular repetition of existence. John Milton's formal use of the Petrarchan sonnet provides a balanced structure for him to blend his experience with the general human experience, but his effort promotes an inward, self-reflective goal of trying to find God's mandate when he becomes blind. While Borges universalizes his blindness in order to convey his idea of transindividuality in "Poema de los dones" ("Poem of the Gifts"), Milton responds to the permanence of his night by ultimately resigning to a justified ascetism, patience, and contemplation as he awaits God's command in "When I Consider how my Light is Spent."


A graceful tug of war between continuity and schism, a changing fusion of the personal and the universal, and a tone of resignation direct Milton to the difficult acceptance of serving God by standing and waiting. Continuity within a set of lines shapes the theme by urging the poet to continue his faith in God. Contrasts in images and audiences define the differences between the soul-seeking author and the well-meaning orator.


Petrarchan sonnets usually invite the poet to propose a series of distinct statements from line to line. Milton deviates from the anticipated sentence divisions by merging one idea within m...

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...Milton: A Structural Reading. London: Edward Arnold, 1974.


Borges, Jorge Luis. Borges: A Reader. Eds. Emir Rodriguez Monegal and Alastair Reid. New York: E.P.

Dutton, 1981.


Miller, David M. John Milton: Poetry. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1978.


Milton, John. "When I Consider how my Light is Spent." The Norton Anthology of English Literature.

Sixth Edition. Ed. M.H. Abrams et al. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1996.


Modern Critical Views: Jorge Luis Borges. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers,



Nicolson, Marjorie Hope. John Milton: A reader's guide to his poetry. New York: Octagon Books, 1983.


Stabb, Martin S. Jorge Luis Borges. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1970.


Wilson, A.N. The Life of John Milton. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983.



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