Sex and Poetry: Two Versions

Remember High School English? They made you read poetry and demanded that you like it (I did). What poets or poems do you remember: Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken), Carl Sandburg (Chicago), Shakespeare (Sonnets), Marvell (To His Coy Mistress), John Keats (Upon First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer), John Donne (For Who the Bell Tolls)? I remember how naughty Andrew Marvell and the now so clichéd theme of Carpe Diem seemed then, being a child of the ’50s.

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Comes the blind Fury

MiltonWhen I was studying literature many many years ago, I loved poetry. It was the sixties so William Blake was very popular (along with J. R. R. Tolkein) but my favorites were Alexander Pope, John Keats, and John Milton. You might wonder how a devout Atheist with tendencies toward anarchism and a penchant for bizarre fiction can even read John Milton, let alone declare that Milton is a favorite poet. To keep it simple: Milton is a great poet.

Even if I don’t exactly agree with his religious or political practices or even find that he was a nice guy: his poetry is great!

I was looking up something earlier and ran across a copy of Milton’s Lycidas. I read through it three times and each time became more and more aware of my life-long love of literature and a certain regret for all the aspirations I had in my early twenties that are now just a fading memory. You might have your Prufrock or your Howl, but for me it’s Lycidas. Remember how it goes …

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