Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Paradise Lost

The long haired, hippie looking fellow above is our 111th hero of the day. His name is John Milton born this day 1608 in London, England. It is quite simple where he hero status rests, and if you know me quite odd. His status rests solely on his poem Paradise Lost. The only interesting fact that I know about Milton is that he read so much that he went blind. I guess that is a lot of reading under bad lights. I am not a fan of his Puritanism, nor do I care for his patron Oliver Cromwell, but it is just simply for one of the best lines in all of English poetry that I elevate him to hero status. Actually, it is two separate lines. The first one is when Satan is thrown out of heaven into hell. Satan looks around at his new "kingdom" of chaos, fire, and brimstone, and merely says "So be it." Something to be said for that, and I know it seems like I am admiring Satan, but it is a fabulous line. Accepting your banishment no matter who banished you, and where you land is the first step to living a purpose driven life. I am not the Prince of Darkness by any stretch of the imagination, but I can feel his pain on the banishment front. The other quote from the poem that I love is also from our cloven hoofed friend. He declares that "it is better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven." Again good stuff that, and of course the sin is clearly pride. A sin that I also possess in spades. It makes be a very difficult subordinate, and a very unreliable "yes man." Just ask the big cheese I presently work for if you do not believe me. And there is something to be said for the reigning in hell part, it may suck, and it may not be the nicest place in the world, but it is MY hell, and sometimes that makes all the difference. So, for writing a lovely piece of poetry that contains those lovely lines John Milton (December 9th, 1608-November 8th, 1674, at the age of 65) you are my hero of the day.