Observations & meditations on the day-to-day
Milton’s Paradise Lost – a poem for October ’17.
Much gratitude to a client who presented me with John Carey’s brilliantly edited new version of Paradise Lost. I was a student of Carey’s once – and it is wonderful to be able to hear his voice in the Introduction. All very nostalgic, and of course the work itself is as utterly magnificent as ever, pursuing as it does “Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.” As there is little point quoting a long passage out of context, I would like to share just these two lines from Book 1 which, well-known as they are, bear a great deal of scrutiny:
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
After its publication in 1667, John Milton’s Paradise Lost was celebrated throughout Europe as a supreme achievement of the human spirit.
Now it is little read. To bring readers back to Milton’s masterpiece, John Carey has shortened it to a third of its original length. In this fascinating reinterpretation, Carey reveals new insights about Milton’s sources of inspiration, while exploring divided readings of the work’s key characters.
The Essential Paradise Lost presents the epic’s greatest poetry, with linking passages that preserve its cosmic sweep – from the superhuman defiance of a ruined archangel to a pair of tragic lovers, bewildered to find themselves responsible for the fate of the whole human race.
The book is available on Amazon HERE