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Classic Poetry from Passions in Poetry


John Milton 1608 - 1674

English poet, also a historian, scholar and pamphleteer. His best known work is probably Paradise Lost (1667) which was followed by Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes (1671). He is also well known for On the Morning of Christ's Nativity (1629), the twin poems L'Allegro and Il Penseroso (1631), Lycidas and the masque Comus (1637).

Biography

Son of a music composer, Milton was educated at St Paul's School and Christ's College, Cambridge. He began writing poetry at university, where he gained the nickname of "the Lady of Christ's" which he attributed to "a certain niceness of nature". On the Morning of Christ's Nativity, composed the Christmas of the year in which he received his first degree, marked the abandoning of his previous frivolous style. From then on Milton sought to instruct his audience in a style later considered "Miltonic". His central moral belief is in individual responsibility: only when one is allowed choice can one become a moral being.

After Lycidas in 1637, Milton wrote only a few minor poems until twenty years later when he began Paradise Lost. During this period he travelled in Italy, meeting Galileo amongst others. He was also increasingly involved in campaigning for civil, religious and domestic liberties, which prompted his publication of various pamphlets, including his notorious defences of divorce. In the mid 1640s he became aware of his deteriorating vision, which would leave him completely blind by 1652.

In 1649 Milton was employed as Latin Secretary to the Council of State, and was helped in his duties by the poet Marvell. After the Restoration of Charles II in 1660, his publication of the republican The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth in the same year resulted in his arrest, at which Marvell intervened on his behalf. Perhaps not surprisingly, Milton chose this time to return to poetry; his late poems being composed in his head and dictated to his daughters, two nephews and various paid and unpaid helpers.

Available Poems
At a Solemn Music
An Epitaph on the Admirable Dramatic Poet W. Shakespeare
The Hymn
Il Penseroso
L'Allegro
Lycidas
On the Morning of Christ's Nativity
On Time
Sonnet VII
Sonnet VIII
Sonnet IX: To a Virtuous Young Lady
Sonnet X
Sonnet XI
Sonnet XIII
Sonnet XVI
Sonnet XVII
Sonnet XVIII
Sonnet XIX: On His Blindness
Sonnet XX
Sonnet XXI
Sonnet XXII
Sonnet XXIII
To the Nightingale
Paradise Lost - Paradise Lost (I)
Paradise Lost - Paradise Lost (II)
Paradise Lost - Paradise Lost (III)
Paradise Lost - Paradise Lost (IV)
Paradise Lost - Paradise Lost (V)
Paradise Lost - Paradise Lost (VI)
Paradise Lost - Paradise Lost (VII)
Paradise Lost - Paradise Lost (VIII)
Paradise Lost - Paradise Lost (IX)
Paradise Lost - Paradise Lost (X)
Paradise Lost - Paradise Lost (XI)
Paradise Lost - Paradise Lost (XII)
Paradise Regained - Paradise Regained Book I
Paradise Regained - Paradise Regained Book II
Paradise Regained - Paradise Regained Book IIII
Paradise Regained - Paradise Regained Book IV

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