0 John Milton was born on December 9, 1608, in
0 lived on Bread Street in Cheapside
0 Milton began to lose his sight in 1644, but went
completely blind around 1650.
0 he died November 8, 1674 in London, England
0 On his blindness
0 The poet is blind.
0 This is a very religious poem.
On his blindness - John Milton0 When I consider how my light is spent,
0 Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
0 And that one Talent which is dear to hide,
0 Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent
0 To serve therewith my Maker, and present
0 My true account, lest He returning chide,
0 'Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?'
0 I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
0 That murmur, soon replies, 'God doth not need
0 Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best
0 Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His State
0 Is Kingly: thousands at his bidding speed
0 And post o'er Land and Ocean without rest;
0 They also serve who only stand and wait.'
When I consider how my light is spent,
The poet is thinking of how he is
spending his time.
The time he
has left to
2 Ere half my days, in this dark
world and wide
He is thinking of how he has spend his life
before his blindness. Now he is spending
his days in darkness.
Half of his life he could see – the other half he
is now spending in blindness
Dark world: he is blind
Wide world: in darkness everything seems
Alliteration: world and wide
And that one talent which is death to hide
gift of writing
He can’t write now because he is
4. Lodged with me useless,
The talent of writing poetry is now
useless because the poet cannot see.
Lodged: he is stuck with this talent
Soul more bent: his soul now seems
determined to use this talent.
5 though my Soul more bent To
serve therewith my Maker
He wants to use his talent (writing) to
serve his Maker.
and present: he wants to give to God
To serve therewith my maker and present,my true
account ,lest he returning chide.
0 Maker=reference to God
0 Chide =criticise
0 True account ,his good work
0 He only wants to serve God with his talent
0 He did not use his talent and now he is worried that
God criticise him.
0 returning chide: God will return. He is afraid God will
scold him for not proving what he has done with his
• ‘Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?’
Exact: authority / expectancy
How can God expect him to work a full day, if he
withholds his eyesight?
The poet suddenly wonders if God is fair in expecting him
to make something of his talent when he is blind.
Metaphor: God is compared with an employer: will God
expect a worker to work when there is no light?
Will God expect work that you must do in daylight from him
when he cannot see?
• I fondly ask, but Patience, to prevent That
murmur, soon replies
fondly: showing affection and love.
He shows God he asks this question as someone who loves
Him and not as someone who judges God.
Personification: of the virtue (patience) and
he answers himself
prevent: Patience wants to stop the complaint from
reaching God to protect the poet.
Murmur: argue/ complain
• ‘God doth no need
Either man’s work or his own gifts:
God does not need anything from man.
God does not need work or gifts.
God does not need your gifts because God gave
you the gifts/talents that you have
• Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His State
The image of an ox being yoked is used here.
The one who copes well with the mild burden God has given
them, serves God well.
The poet’s yoke is his blindness. If he accepts his blindness
and copes with it, he serves God well.
God rules like a true King. He is a king.
Kingly: to be proud
• thousands at his bidding speed
and post o’er Land and Ocean without rest
Thousands at his bidding: there are thousands of people that
do what God commands.
Speed: move fast
Post: travel fast
They travel around the world without rest
• They also serve who only stand and wait
You don’t have to travel around the world to serve God. If you
only stand and wait, you also serve God.
Stand and wait: are ready.
• Type: Petrarchan (Italian)
sonnet, consisting of an octave (8 lines)
and a sestet (6 lines).
• Stylistic devices:
Elision, Inversion, Alliteration and
• The genre of this poem is to learn
how to be who you are without
• The form of the poem is a Petrarchan
Sonnet a poem of 14 lines.
• The poem is organized by 14 lines of
pattern of rhyme.
• The poem contributes to the rhyme meaning
because at the end of each sentence words rhyme
with one another.
• Ex. wide, hide, chide, denied, need, speed, best, rest.
• Rhyme Scheme: ABBA, ABBA, CDE, and CDE.
themes of poem
0 The theme of the poem is: accepting the love of god
unconditionally even though you have a physical
0 The theme of the poem is: that God will always love
you no matter what happens to you in life.