A Poem For Your Thoughts

John Milton: On His Blindness

Davis Creach, Arts Editor

Another week down, another Poetry Friday on the Uproar! I hope you all had a good week and are ready to wind down from the Calculus and computer programming to nestle into a short study of poetry; this one is deep. By now, I’m sure my faithful readers know the drill, but for those of you who have never read this column before, I am very glad to have you! Each edition will include two poems, the first being a featured piece written by a famous poet that will be analyzed and interpreted according to my point of view. Of course, everyone’s interpretation is different and valid, and the comment section will be open for any further discussion. The second piece is written by yours truly and will be open to complete interpretation and analysis. Go forth, enjoy, and as you read, remember: “It is not what you look at that matters, it is what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau

Poem One: On His Blindness by John Milton

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Thoughts: This week’s poem is more obviously personal than some of our past poems. Milton’s blindness was worsening day by day, and he wrote this poem to express his fears and to come to terms with the loss of his sight. The poem is heavily focused on the shortcomings and limitations that Milton and all of mankind deal with throughout life. Milton presents himself as a failure to God and his almighty mission, but that should not be the end of this poetic analysis. Milton comes to the realization that part of God’s plan might be to learn from Patience and “bear his mild yoke” instead of trying to change the world in his lifetime. In the midst of his increasing disability, Milton is able to give his life hope and meaning and encourages the reader to search for the same meaning in life. A well-constructed poem from a true literary genius.

Poem Two:  Outside this Room by D.C.

The leaves fall from their safety,

They splatter the ground like soft rain

On a stormy day in April.

I sit here, watching winter take its

Toll on the grandfathers of the forest.

My feet are cold with the chill

In the cracks of the concrete sidewalk.

Time is slow and the world is quick,

But the sun isn’t shining any brighter.

The moon reigns in this wintry kingdom.

And I am a humble servant.



I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and tune in next week for another edition of A Poem For Your Thoughts.