Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Profound Bit from Milton

I confess, until this past week, I had been very lax indeed about perusing "Paradise Lost," but after viewing all these great videos of Grant singing "Awake, Arise" on his recent tour, I got excited about it all over again. Spent a fair lot of time listening to the audio book at work last week, and I have been trying to pick up the actual hard copy at least once a day and browse through the pages. Often, something will leap up at me, totally out of context, and insist I take heed.

"Still govern thou my song, Urania; and fit audience find though few."

The footnote at the bottom of the page identifies this as: "A famous phrase expressing Milton's conviction that it is preferable to address even one just man than a world of false men."

An earlier footnote tells me "Urania" is a name Milton uses to identify the Holy Ghost, though technically, Urania is actually the Muse of Astronomy.

"Govern" seems to mean "guide," and I can certainly dig being guided by the Holy Ghost, and do make an effort to hear Her voice when I attempt to create, be it music, or a poem or story.

As for preferring to "address one just man than a world of false men," well, it's what I've been saying all along. "A fit audience though few" means seeking out discerning folks, rather than aiming for mass appeal. I would much rather "a fit audience though few" of folks who actually get it, than worldwide appeal and an overabundance of material riches.

Being free to create as I wish, and listen for the voice of inspiration -- sometimes subtle, sometimes not -- is worth more to me than millions of dollars and designer clothes and fancy cars.

And those discerning few who occasionally take the time to tell me I have touched them in some way?

Treasure upon which no price can be placed.

It was a beautiful thing, to find this jewel of wisdom within the depths of "Paradise Lost."

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