Three defenses of Milton, followed by a pleasant thought
They are also waiters who only stand and serve.
He's right. If God doesn't want you jus' hangin' checkin' out the scene, It can pluck you right up and move you, Its will be done, like there's any choice. As the Thirteenth Disciple said, "Hey, everybody's gotta be somewhere."
We're irked by people who let the God of Love and Compassion struggle on alone without lifting a finger or Platinum Card to help. Or the God of Corn, or the God of Epic Poetry, or the God of Theater, or the God of Eros, or the God of Wine, or the God of Parking. (Except for the Theater one.) But considering the personality type that often develops with omnipotence-from-birth, maybe it's better that spectators meekly cheer the single-player team from their couches rather than swarming onto the game field with their machetes. For example, John Milton thought God wanted the Irish slaughtered, and, genealogically speaking, I'm pleased that he didn't take up God's cause as actively as Edmund Spenser did. Please, Mr. Milton, just stand there! Just wait!
In "Two Representative Works of the Last Decade" (Crayon 1), Karl Young suggests that Ezra Pound is to Jackson Mac Low as John Milton was to William Blake. Now, if you just happened to mention that Jackson Mac Low likes Ezra Pound, and then, three weeks later, dropped a hint that William Blake liked John Milton, you wouldn't have told me anything I didn't already know, although I'm sure I would attempt a look of polite interest and would be in fact sincerely glad to have met you. But somehow bringing together Blake and Mac Low makes both Pound and Milton seem more warmly illuminated, as if one's key light is the other one's fill....
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