John Milton 1608-1674 By: Annie, Jayla, and Maria Biographical Information dedicated Puritan allied himself with the Roundheads one of Cromwell’s secretaries In 1652, Milton lost his wife, infant son, and eyesight. (p. 480) “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent” When I consider how my light is spent, Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, And that one Talent which is death to hide Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present My true account, lest he returning chide; “Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?” I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest: They also serve who only stand and wait.” Style of Poem This is a Petrarchan, or Italian, sonnet Divided into an octave of eight lines and a sestet of six. Octave: rhyme scheme of abbaabba and raises a question Sestet: has a variable rhyme scheme and resolves or comments on the problem Tone is somber and reflective Theme: guilt and blame (p.483-484) Other Information Milton went blind before he wrote his best works (Shmoop). Unlike a classic Italian sonnet, this poem does not divide cleanly into eight lines and six lines. Milton influenced the writing of J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings trilogy Works Cited “John Milton.” Literature. Janet Allen. Evanston, Illinois: McDougal Littell, 2008. Pages 480484. Print. Shmoop Editorial Team. "When I Consider How My Light is Spent (On His Blindness)." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 30 Sep. 2014.