The poem “When I consider how my light is spent” portrays the struggle of a talented man who is blindsided by a handicap (21-22). The poet, John Milton, is also the narrator in the poem using first person point of view to describe his struggle with the onset of blindness at the age of 43. This poem was an outlet for Milton to express his feelings towards becoming blind as a man, thus why only a year had passed between his onset of blindness and the dictation of this poem.
Through the poem, there is an exact rhyme such as on lines 1,3,2,4 “spent” and “bent”, “wide” and hide” with the last word of the line. The end rhymes of the fourteen lines create an ABBA ABBA CDE CDE pattern that would be consistent with an Italian sonnet. The lines are arranged in order with the end rhyme pattern: lines 1, 5,9, and 12 are not indented like the rest of the poem showing the breaks in the pattern. The decision to write an Italian sonnet could be seen as a way for Milton to show how unexpected it was to be a blind poet as well as an Englishman writing an Italian sonnet, instead of an English sonnet. On the other hand, it may have been his way of showing his intelligence, similar to Homer, a blind well-known Greek philosopher (XXXX). His intellect would be seen by not writing a well-known type of poem such as an English sonnet, but an Italian take on the traditional type of poem. Both ideas showcase Milton’s desire to be unique, talented, and intelligent despite his obstacle.
In each line of the poem, there are ten syllables. There is a pattern of stressed sounds such as “I”, “light”, and “spent” as well as unstressed such as “when”, “my”, and “is” that are all taken from the first line of the poem. Through the en...
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... reasoning without complaint.
Milton was an English poet, whose father was a successful businessman. Milton was able to attend college, graduate with his masters and have a private tutor before he became blind due to a genetic weakness in his eyes (346). The use of English words such as “ere”, “lest”, “doth”, “yoke”, and “o’re” would be congruent with a well educated Englishman such as Milton.
Through reminiscing the past, and focusing on what is really important, the theme of this poem is about overcoming obstacles that cannot be changed. Even though he wants to be able to see, and be able to write down his own poetry; Milton relies on a woman to dictate the poems for him as he verbal conveys them to her (XXX). Milton realizes that the importance is not in what talents we have, but in what we can do to help someone out, and persevere when the odds are against us.
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