On His Blindness by: John Milton (1655)

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  • Topic: Poetry, Sonnet, Poetic form
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ENG125: Introduction to Literature (GSH1140E)
Instructor: Julie Alfaro
October 24, 2011

What is poetry? According to the author Clugston (2010) poetry is everything the poet sees. Also according to Clugston (2010) “poetry is everything the poet senses, feels, experiences, and imagines”. Poems are built around human life experiences but written in concise and expressive figurative language form which could sometimes be difficult to understand. Not only is poetry based on human life experiences, poetry is also written to capture the reader’s attention and at the same time requires the reader to explore the poet’s imaginations. Basically, “poetry is an expression of the human spirit” (Clugston, 2011). As a result, the poem “On His Blindness” by John Milton (1655) has been selected as the choice for this paper. The three elements to be discussed will include: form, the tone of the poem, and the contents of the poem. Additionally, an assessment of how these elements affected my response. Although there are a few forms for poetry to create clarity and engage the purpose of the poet’s expressions, the only one discussed will be the sonnet. According to the author of our text, “Lyric poetry is more subjective than narrative poetry. Usually brief, a lyric poem expresses a poet’s thoughts and imagination. Its melody and emotion create a dominant, unified impression” (Clugston, 2010). The classic poem “On His Blindness” by John Milton (1655) is an explicitly religious autobiographical sonnet of John Milton describing his complete blindness by the age of 44. The theme of the sonnet is acceptance and submission to the will of a wise and loving God. Additionally, “The sonnet is a highly structured form of lyric poetry with different specifications for the Italian (Petrarch an) sonnet and for the English (Shakespearean) sonnet” (Clugston, 2010). According to the author of this text, sonnet is defined as “A lyric poem with 14 lines. The Italian sonnet and the English...
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