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Lines 1-8 Summary Page 1

Get out the microscope, because were going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 1-2
When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,

The speaker thinks about how all of his light has been used up ("spent") before
even half his life is over. As a man without light, he now lives in a world that is
both "dark and wide."
The first word of the poem, "When," gives us an idea of the structure of the
sentence that will follow. The structure is, "When this happens, that happens."
As in, "When I broke the glass, I had to find a broom to sweep it up."
But be careful the second part of the sentence doesn't come until lines 7 and 8.
Milton's audience was more used to reading dense and complicated sentences, so
you'll want to take the first seven lines slowly. (That's OK, we also think
Milton's audience would have had a doozy of a time figuring out text
Most readers believe that the poem is clearly about Milton's blindness, but the
poem never directly refers to blindness or even vision. Instead, we think that
"light" is a metaphor for vision.
The metaphor is complicated. The speaker says that his light can be "spent," and
this word suggests that he is thinking of something like an oil lamp. The light is
"spent" when the oil in the lamp runs out. To make a contemporary comparison,
it would be like someone comparing his vision to a flashlight that runs out of
batteries before it is supposed to. Milton is suggesting that he got a bad deal.
The word "spent" also makes us think of money. Milton is reflecting on how he
has used or "spent" his vision, now that it is gone. Has he used it wisely, or did
he fritter it away because he thought it would never run out?
The word "ere" means "before." How does Milton know that he became blind
before his life was halfway over? For this to be true, wouldn't he have to be
some kind of psychic who knew when he was going to die? The usual
explanation of this line is that Milton guesses roughly how long he will live.
Milton went completely blind at the age of 42.
Finally, calling the world "dark and wide" makes it sound like a scary place,
doesn't it? Interestingly, Milton makes it seem as if the world has run out of
light, rather than growing dark because of any blindness on his part.

Lines 3-4
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, []

These lines are the trickiest in the entire poem, because they appear to be
simpler then they are.

The key word is "talent." You probably read "talent" and think of skills like
throwing a perfect spiral or being a piano prodigy. But there's a double meaning
intended for people who know history or Biblical scripture. In the ancient world,
a "talent" was also a standard of weight used to measure money, just as a
"pound" is a measure of both weight and currency.
You can read Matthew 25 (it's short), but here's our brief summary of "The
Parable of Talents." A lord gives three of his servants some money ("talents") to
hold on to when he leaves for a trip. Two of the servants use the money to gain
more money for their master. (In contemporary language, we'd call this
'investment.') But the third servant just buries the money, the ancient equivalent
of hiding it under your mattress. When the lord returns, he's happy with the first
two servants and gives them more responsibilities, but furious with the third
servant. He exiles the third servant into the "darkness," which is the equivalent
of "death."
When Milton says that talent is "death to hide," he is referring to the money in
the Biblical story and also to his own "talent," in the sense of a skill or trade.
There is no way to tell what specific talent he means, but our guess would be his
intelligence and his writing and reading skills, which he had used in service of
Oliver Cromwell's government. This "talent" is "lodged" or buried within the
speaker just like the money in the story. It cannot be used to make greater profit.

Lines 4-6
[] though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;

The speaker has just told us that his talent is as useless as money buried in the
desert, but now he says that his uselessness has nothing to do with a lack of will.
To the contrary, his soul desires (is "bent") to use his skills in the service of his
"Maker," God.
When he is faced with God, he wants to have a record of accomplishment to
show Him.
God is being compared with the lord from the "Parable of the Talents" in
Matthew 25. When God "returns" to him like the master in the parable, the
speaker wants to show that he has used his talents profitably.
The word "account" here means both" story" and "a record of activities with
If the speaker turns out to have wasted his profits, he worries that God will scold
or "chide" him. And if God is anything like the lord from the parable, the
speaker could get cast into a darkness even more fearful than the one created by
his blindness.

Lines 7-8
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask. []

It has taken the speaker six lines to get through the part of the sentence that
begins "When." Now he goes on to say what happens "when" he thinks about all
the stuff he has described above. Namely, he wonders if God demands that
people undertake hard, physical work, or "day-labour," when they don't have any
The speaker doesn't have any light because he's blind, but in Milton's metaphor
he compares this condition to having to do work at night that you would
normally do during the day like, say, building a house or plowing a field.
The word "exact" means something like "charge," "claim," or "demand." You
can "exact" a toll or a fee, for example. So the speaker wants to know if God
demands work as a kind of payment that is due to Him.
The first section of the poem is completed by the words "I fondly ask." The
word "fondly" means "foolishly," not "lovingly." The speaker accuses himself of
being a idiot for even thinking this question.
Fortunately, "patience" steps in to prevent his foolishness. More on that in the
next section.

Lneas 1-8 Resumen Pgina 1

Fuera el microscopio, ya que estamos pasando por este poema, lnea por lnea.
Lneas 1-2
Cuando veo cmo se gasta mi luz,
Ere la mitad de mis das, en este mundo oscuro y ancho,
El orador piensa en cmo toda su luz se ha agotado ("estado") para que la mitad de su vida
ha terminado. Como un hombre sin luz, ahora vive en un mundo que es a la vez "oscura y
La primera palabra del poema, "Cuando", nos da una idea de la estructura de la frase que
seguir. La estructura es: "Cuando esto sucede, eso sucede." Como en, "Cuando me romp el
cristal, que tena que encontrar una escoba para barrer para arriba."
Pero tenga cuidado - la segunda parte de la frase no viene hasta que las lneas 7 y 8 la
audiencia de Milton estaba ms acostumbrado a leer frases densos y complicados, por lo que
tendr que tomar las primeras siete lneas lentamente. (Eso est bien, tambin pensar la
audiencia de Milton habra tenido un doozy de un tiempo tratando de descifrar los mensajes
de texto.)
La mayora de los lectores creen que el poema es claramente acerca de la ceguera de
Milton, pero el poema nunca se refiere directamente a la ceguera o incluso la visin. En lugar
de ello, creemos que "la luz" es una metfora de la visin.
La metfora es complicado. El orador dice que su luz puede ser "gastado", y esta palabra
sugiere que l est pensando en algo as como una lmpara de aceite. La luz se "gastado"
cuando el aceite en la lmpara se agota. Para hacer una comparacin contempornea, sera
como si alguien comparar su visin de una linterna que funciona sin pilas antes de que se
supone que es. Milton est sugiriendo que l consigui un mal negocio.
La palabra "gastado" tambin nos hace pensar en el dinero. Milton est reflexionando sobre
cmo se ha utilizado o "gastado" su visin, ahora que se ha ido. Se ha utilizado sabiamente, o

l desperdiciar lejos porque pens que nunca se acabara?

La palabra "ere" significa "antes". Cmo sabe que Milton se qued ciego antes de que su
vida estaba a medio camino de nuevo? Para que esto sea cierto, no tena que ser una especie
de vidente que saba cundo iba a morir? La explicacin habitual de esta lnea es que Milton
adivina ms o menos cunto tiempo vivir. Milton se qued completamente ciego a la edad de
Por ltimo, llamando al mundo "oscura y amplia" lo hace sonar como un lugar de miedo,
no? Curiosamente, Milton hace que parezca como si el mundo se ha quedado sin luz, en lugar
de crecer oscura porque de cualquier ceguera de su parte.
Lneas 3-4
Y que uno de Talento que es la muerte para ocultar
Alojados conmigo intil, [...]
Estas lneas son las ms difciles en todo el poema, porque parecen ser ms simple entonces
La palabra clave es "talento". Usted probablemente lee "talento" y piensa en habilidades
como lanzar una espiral perfecta o ser un prodigio del piano. Pero hay un significado doble
destinada a personas que conocen la historia o las escrituras bblicas. En el mundo antiguo, un
"talento" era tambin un estndar de peso utilizada para medir el dinero, as como una "libra"
es una medida de peso y la moneda.
Usted puede leer Mateo 25 (es corto), pero aqu est nuestro breve resumen de "La
parbola de los talentos." Un seor le da tres de sus siervos algo de dinero ("talentos") para
aferrarse a cuando se va para un viaje. Dos de los servidores utilizan el dinero para ganar ms
dinero para su amo. (En el lenguaje contemporneo, nos llamamos 'inversin'.) Pero el tercer
siervo justo entierra el dinero, el equivalente antiguo de ocultarlo debajo de su colchn.
Cuando el Seor regrese, l est contento con los dos primeros siervos y les da ms
responsabilidades, pero furioso con el tercer siervo. Se exilia el tercer siervo en la "oscuridad",
que es el equivalente de la "muerte".
Cuando Milton dice que el talento es "la muerte que ocultar", se est refiriendo al dinero en
la historia bblica y tambin a su "talento", en el sentido de un arte u oficio.
No hay forma de saber qu talento especfico que quiere decir, pero nuestra conjetura sera
su inteligencia y sus habilidades de lectura y escritura, que l haba utilizado en el servicio del
gobierno de Oliver Cromwell. Este "talento" se "present" o enterrado en el altavoz al igual
que el dinero en la historia. No se puede utilizar para hacer un mayor beneficio.
Lneas 4-6
[...] Aunque mi alma ms doblada
Para servir con ella mi Hacedor, y presentar
Mi cuenta verdadera, para que no volver chide;
El orador acaba de decirnos que su talento es tan intil como dinero enterrado en el
desierto, pero ahora dice que su inutilidad no tiene nada que ver con una falta de voluntad.

Por el contrario, su alma desea (es "doblada") a utilizar sus conocimientos al servicio de su
"creador", Dios.
Cuando se enfrenta a Dios, l quiere tener un historial de logros para mostrarle.
Dios se est comparando con el seor de la "Parbola de los Talentos" en Mateo 25 Cuando
"regresa" a Dios que le gusta la maestra en la parbola, el hablante quiere demostrar que ha
utilizado sus talentos de manera rentable.
La palabra "cuenta" significa tanto "historia" y "un registro de las actividades con el dinero."
Si el hablante resulta haber perdido sus ganancias, l se preocupa de que Dios va a regaar
o "reprender" a l. Y si Dios es algo como el seor de la parbola, el altavoz podra quedar
echado en una oscuridad an ms temible que el creado por su ceguera.
Lneas 7-8
"Tiene Dios un da de trabajo exacta, neg la luz?"
Me pregunto con cario. [...]
Ha tomado el altavoz seis lneas para conseguir a travs de la parte de la frase que comienza
"Cuando". Ahora l va a decir lo que sucede "cuando" piensa en todas las cosas que l ha
descrito anteriormente. A saber, se pregunta si Dios exige que las personas emprender duro, el
trabajo fsico, o "da de trabajo", cuando no tienen ninguna luz.
El orador no tiene ninguna luz porque es ciega, pero en la metfora de Milton compara esta
condicin a tener que hacer el trabajo en la noche que normalmente hacer durante el da como, por ejemplo, construir una casa o arar un campo.
La palabra "exacta" significa algo as como "carga", "alegacin" o "demanda". Usted puede
"exacta" de un peaje o una cuota, por ejemplo. As que el orador quiere saber si Dios exige un
trabajo como una especie de pago que se le debe.
La primera seccin del poema se completa con las palabras "Yo pido con cario." La palabra
"con cario" significa "tontamente", no "con amor." El altavoz se acusa de ser un idiota para
pensar siquiera esta pregunta.
Afortunadamente, las medidas "paciencia" para evitar que su necedad. Ms sobre esto en la
siguiente seccin.

Milton's "On His Blindness" discusses his feelings, fears and doubts regarding his failed sight,
which was due to excessive writing and reading different languages. Milton decides to
rationalize his fear by seeking solutions in his faith.
Milton "En Su Ceguera" discute sus sentimientos, temores y dudas con respecto a su vista
fallida, lo que se debi a la escritura y la lectura excesiva diferentes idiomas. Milton decide
racionalizar su miedo por la bsqueda de soluciones en su fe