Sonnet 19: When I consider how my light is spent (On his blindness) Summary & Analysis by John Milton

John milton sonnet 19 when i consider how my light is spent on his blindness.small

“Sonnet 19,” more commonly called "When I consider how my light is spent," is a poem by the English poet John Milton. Likely written in the mid-1650s, after Milton lost his eye-sight, the poem reflects on the physical and spiritual challenges the speaker faces as a blind person. He feels unable to complete the tasks that God has set for him, and worries that he is squandering his capacity to serve God. But, in the second half of the poem, the speaker reassures himself by arguing that God does not need human help and that there are many ways to serve him. Like some of Milton’s other poems (for example, “How Soon Hath Time”), the poem thus defends a Protestant position: the idea that salvation comes from faith, rather than work.

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