Bret James Stewart's Reviews > Paradise Lost and Other Poems

Paradise Lost and Other Poems by John Milton
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it was amazing

The works of Milton are one of those things I had always wanted to read yet never seemed to get around to. I have no idea how I made it through high school without reading more than excerpts, but that is what happened. I remember one of my friends reading Paradise Lost, and he was in the gifted class, so maybe those of us who were less gifted got the shaft. In any case, as it is with any major poet, oceans of ink have been spilled upon the man and his works. There is nothing meaningful I can add in this regard, except to recommend the University of South Carolina’s Milton page, which does include some in-depth information as well as some gorgeous images about the poet and his era:

I greatly enjoyed this book. I had expected Milton to be dry (a Puritan poet seems almost an oxymoron) as religious poetry sometimes suffers from its lack of creativity, relying, rather, on truth than artistic merit to carry it. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but this book does not fall within this category. This version is glossed, which I appreciate since my 17th century understanding of the English language is not especially grand. I was happy that I recognized almost all of the biblical references without looking at the footnotes. As with most books of a literary nature, recognizing some of the allusions makes me wonder how many I am missing, although the glossed version rectifies this fear somewhat.

Anyone interested in poetry or important English or world literature should read this book. Milton is not old hat nor is he overly difficult. He has been established long enough for there to be many articles and glossaries about his work, and these can help the reader digest the poems. I loved this book, and I hope you do, too.

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Reading Progress

February 5, 2015 – Started Reading
February 5, 2015 – Shelved
February 13, 2015 –
page 60
February 20, 2015 –
page 70
March 6, 2015 –
page 100
March 20, 2015 –
page 130
April 5, 2015 –
page 150
April 17, 2015 –
page 160
April 25, 2015 –
page 200
May 8, 2015 –
page 240
May 22, 2015 –
page 260
June 11, 2015 –
page 310
June 19, 2015 –
page 340
June 26, 2015 –
page 360
July 24, 2015 –
page 400
August 6, 2015 –
page 410
August 14, 2015 – Finished Reading

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