Taking Milton for a walk …

I reached a rocky ledge above a sheltered beach

and sat, book in hand,

glancing out to sea.

In the distance, swathed in mist,

the familiar headland hides ;

seagulls mew flying low; cormorants dive and fish ..

while within the pages the battle rages

between armies of darkness and the light:

mountains uprooted,

overturned and hurled ..

the headland swirls with the thundrous power

of the poet’s vision.

Blind, but like an eagle on the heights

he saw beyond the range of human sight;

encompassed Paradise and Hell;

divined the duel of intellects;

dared to write a dialogue between Satan

and Archangel.

In beauteous words he sang of lyrical days

in Eden’s innocence and what befell

Adam and Eve:

in that garden of ultimate bliss

he had heard the serpent’s hiss.

The sea-mist has lifted and in sparklets of spray,

the cormorants, sleek as black missiles

propel from the waves.

I take a last look at Paradise Lost,

then, gathering my thoughts,

reluctantly I close my book.

About atomsofstars

Reticent .. but I hope my poetry speaks for me .. Favourite quotation .. ' Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.' Ludwig Wittgenstein
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6 Responses to Taking Milton for a walk …

  1. JM says:

    Good morning, Marya.

    I love the switches : from the here-and-now to the past, both near and far : from the external to the internal : from the physical to the metaphysical. Goodness, Milton himself might have thought of it ! These lines can be seen as simple or as complex ; as a parable, maybe.

    You might guess that I have been dabbling in Coleridge again, and you’d be correct. I am so glad that you set me that tough task ; and glad too, that you are showing me the way to poetry through your own work. Thank you.

  2. atomsofstars says:

    Good morning, Jamie … lovely to see you.

    Gosh! Thank you so much .. compliments such as these I can’t handle very well but I’m delighted that you enjoyed the walk 🙂
    Funnily enough, the Cormorant, is one of the disguises that Satan used … I can never see them now with quite the same eyes. What with toads and cormorants I’m in dangerous company!

    The ‘switches’ that you mention seem to have arisen unconsciously … I was aware of the changing tenses as I wrote and decided to leave them .. it seemed to flow so I didn’t ‘tinker’ with it.
    The physical to the metaphysical was all Milton’s doing … I had little say in the matter .. his words are absorbing.

    I’m so glad you are enjoying the great Coleridge .. as you might expect, he has interesting and insightful things to say about Milton’s work .. The edition of Milton which I am reading is annotated with such depth and scholarship .. it is a fascinating ‘ book’ in itself.

    You are always very kind about my efforts, Jamie .. I cannot think that I can be any kind of exemplar but I am happy that you find my poetry pleasing.
    Thank you again for your unfailing interest and encouragement .

  3. Shermeen says:

    Somehow this appear that much more meaningful on your own pages, Marya. I shall come back again and again to savour the delight of this poem.

    As before, your seascape is amazing. I could easily ‘lose’ myself in it )

  4. atomsofstars says:

    Hello, Shermeen ….

    That’s an interesting observation …. I wonder why that should be 🙂 I’m always delighted to see you here …. I’m pleased you enjoyed these lines so much .. do take a seat on that rocky ledge and immerse yourself in the scene.

    btw .. I intend to post some sea and skyscapes on MyT soon …

    Have a happy day, Shermeen.

  5. Francina says:

    beautiful and very interesting poem, Mayra. Much enjoyed the read,

    Caio, Francina

  6. atomsofstars says:

    Hello Francina … It’s nice to see you today …

    Thank you for your kind opinion … I’m very pleased to know that you found it interesting and you enjoyed reading these lines … have you read any of Milton’s work ?

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