“When I Consider How My Light Is Spent,” Reconsidered

My first thought when reading what I wrote more than three years ago about Milton’s “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent” is that, wow, I used to write long, convoluted sentences. Maybe I was trying too hard to be complex. Since then I’ve come to think that the beauty in any form of communication is its simplicity—its elegance.

But w/r/t the poem, it remains one of my favorites, so I’m glad it was the first one I included in my list (which isn’t final, but isn’t exactly running these days, either). There is also a place for those who stand and wait. Patience is a strange idea for environmentalists; we embed value in geologic time but also constantly attempt to combat apathy, the dirtiest of words.

Of course, the real enemy is the notion that there’s nothing we can do. I think such an enemy is insurmountable because it’s supported by overwhelming evidence.



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